Prominent anti-bullying experts to speak at student conference

The founder of a premier bullying website and a resident expert in cyber-bullying are among the guest speakers at the Education Undergraduate Society (EUS) anti-bullying conference on Oct. 6, 7 and 8.

Bill Belsey, a father and teacher who founded in 2000, has spoken about bullying at events around the world. Dr. Robin Bright, a University of Lethbridge education professor, has expertise in cyber-bullying based on her research into technology and communication patterns among teens. Rounding out the conference are two Lethbridge school resource officers who deal with cyber-bullying in schools.

The conference is organized by students for students and has been an annual affair for the past seven years.

“Cyber-bullying affects schools and communities beyond the boundaries of the digital world. It has serious consequences for individuals and society,” says Alexandra Pletch, a fourth-year student and vice-president external of EUS.

The conference, which promotes digital citizenship and responsible use, is designed to provide professional development and awareness for education students but the sessions are open to anyone. The focus of the conference is not so much about how to prevent bullying as it is about ways to promote Internet citizenship and responsible use, says Pletch.

Bright will deliver the first talk of the conference, scheduled for noon Monday.

On Tuesday starting at 12:05 p.m., Const. Shawn Davis and Const. Jamie Williamson will talk about cyber-bullying from their perspectives as school resource officers.

The noon session on Wednesday will be an open discussion forum for students. At 6 p.m., Belsey will talk about his involvement in anti-bullying.

The noon-hour sessions are all free and a $2 admission fee will be charged to non-EUS members for Belsey’s evening talk.

“We’re very pleased to have him and any insights he can share. We are very grateful to all of our speakers, including those who said they were willing to speak even though we couldn’t accommodate them,” says Pletch. “We welcome parents and anyone interested in bullying to come to the talks.”

All sessions are open to the public and will be held in the Students’ Union Ballrooms.

At-a-glance schedule:

Monday, noon: Dr. Robin Bright

Tuesday, 12:05 p.m.: Const. Shawn Davis and Const. Jamie Williamson

Wednesday, noon: Open discussion

Wednesday, 6 p.m.: Bill Belsey