Anti-bullying and suicide prevention training to be held for school support staff Friday at Tooele High School       
Training marks launch of “Bully Free – It Starts with Me” campaign

Tooele, UT – Tomorrow, the Tooele Education Support Professionals Association (TESPA) in partnership with the Tooele County School District (TCSD) and the Utah School Employees Association (USEA) will come together to provide in-depth training for school support staff on bullying and suicide prevention. The training marks the launch of an anti-bullying campaign in the district.

“Education support professionals, such as bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and paraeducators, are often present where bullying occurs, so they need concrete strategies to use during an incident,” said TESPA President Mike Garcia. “This training will help support staff understand what bullying is, what bullying is not, and what to do about bullying when they see it.”

Time:  8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Note: Media are invited to attend general session presentations and panel participants will be available to speak with the media at the conclusion of the first general session.

Date:  Friday, October 31, 2014

Place:  Tooele High School, 301 West Vine Street, Tooele, UT

The training will include instruction on how to identify bullying, when to intervene in a bullying incident, how to advocate for bullied students, and how to work together with the community for student well being. School support staff will hear a presentation by Dr. Gregory A. Hudnall, founder of HOPE4UTAH, a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to suicide prevention, intervention and support for bereaved family members. Mary Kay Kirkland, a board member with the Utah Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, will present on the Whole Child approach and the vital roles that support staff play in ensuring that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. The event will also include a panel discussion featuring State Senator Daniel W. Thatcher, USEA President Jerad Reay, USEA Executive Director Bryan Sprague, TCSD Board President Maresa Manzione and TESPA President Mike Garcia.

Bullying occurs once every seven minutes. According to a National Education Association study, students are bullied due to their weight (23%), gender (20%), perceived sexual orientation (18%), and disability (12%).

“Every Utahn knows and loves someone who has been affected whether they know it or not. Most choose to suffer in silence because these are uncomfortable issues and many people want to look away and ignore the problem. I am honored to support USEA and TESPA in their fight to bring these issues to light, and to save our children,” said Utah State Senator, Daniel W. Thatcher.

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