April 9, 2012
Commissioners, District Attorney and The Peace Center Collaborate to Establish Bullying Resource and Call Center
Bucks County Commissioner Diane Marseglia and Barbara Simmons, Executive Director of The Peace Center, announced today the establishment of the Bullying Resource and Call Center, an integrated approach to help schools, families and police better assist victims during this new age of cyber-bullying. The Peace Center’s tireless work bridging the gap between schools and community through peace education created the foundation for the Call Center, which strives to create a safe environment of acceptance and tolerance within the community.
“Today we face bullying that has been magnified by two things,” noted Commissioner Marseglia. “The ability to bully through electronic communication 24 hours a day, and adults, both those who identify themselves and those who act as anonymous cowards, who say anything they want while children watch and listen.”
Bullying now extends beyond the schoolyard, being amplified by 24- hour online harassment, making it difficult for parents, school districts or even local police to intervene. The Peace Center Bullying Resource and Call Center is not a hotline; however, it will help families, schools and police establish a game plan to both assist the target in dealing with bystanders and address the bully’s behavior so the problem does not persist.
“Bullies thrive where authority is weak, so in Bucks County we are providing that authority,” stated Marseglia.
The Bullying Resource and Call Center will be a place where schools, victims and parents can turn to for direction. It will give them, and the police, a guide of where to turn, and who should be the one to turn. The Center will work with both the victims and the bullies, assisting in working through the pain, and teaching healthy experiences.
In Bucks County, the school districts, local police and county government are all committed to wiping out bullying. Police in Bucks have the support of District Attorney David Heckler and his staff, who will teach and support them in taking the necessary steps when legal and suitable; the division of Human Services has a 15-month, $75,000 contract. The Peace Center’s Bullying Resource and Call Center transcends boundaries, empowering everyone to work together for the safety of the children and the community.
The Peace Center’s goal is a comprehensive approach to changing school climate so all students feel physically, emotionally and socially safe. For more information on the Bullying Resource and Call Center, or the Peace Center, please contact Barbara Simmons or Marianne Elias at 215-750-7220 or visit www.thepeacecenter.org.