Bullying, suicide prevention programs on tap for ACPS

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As state lawmakers move forward with anti-bullying legislation, ACPS staff recommends a comprehensive, district-wide bullying prevention program.

Meeting with the school board to discuss bullying prevention and suicide awareness information, staff advised members implement the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program district-wide at a cost of about $3,000 to $4,000 per school. 

Bullied children, especially those at an early age, are more likely to be at risk for self-esteem issues, absenteeism, low school achievement, illness and thoughts of suicide, staff said. On the other side of the coin, bullies are more prone to fighting and ending up in the criminal justice process. 

A full presentation on how the district should handle bullying by Superintendent Morton Sherman is expected in the near future. 

In Richmond, Alexandria delegates Adam Ebbin (D-45) and David Englin (D-49) have targeted bullying as well. Under legislation filed by Ebbin, bullying would be a criminal act, while Englins bill would force school districts to implement more stringent anti-bullying programs. 

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