Last night's panel discussion at the Smith Mt. Lake Library opened a lot of eyes. Especially Andy Bliss, the assistant principal at Forest Middle School--who informed us about the role of electronic devices as they relate to the issue of school bullies. Whereas the Internet, I-Pods and Social Media can allow for anonymous and insidious bullying, cameras and webcams can record events such as fights, verbal altercations and Facebook postings which trap the bully in action.
Josselyn Gregory, high school counselor and college career coach spoke about the need for awareness of bullying on the part of students and teachers.
Dr. Pat Santoro, college psychology professor, informed us about the psychology of bullying--what "makes" a bully and what can be done to change negative behaviors.
I had the opportunity to relate how I came to write Eaglebait--theme school bullies--and I read a passage describing a gang fight against my protagonist.
We had a good crowd who posed excellent questions for the panelists and the Friends of the Library provided wonderful refreshments.
I appreciate everyone who took the time to participate in the panel and to come out for the event. I'd consider doing this again if we could get together such an array of experts as we had on our panel last night.