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Anti-bullying expert to work with Coeur d’Alene schools

Wed., Sept. 25, 2013, 11:39 a.m.

An international expert on combating discrimination and bullying will work with the Coeur d’Alene School District this year to measure the extent of bullying among students and help develop measures to end it.

Steve Wessler, a Maine lawyer and college instructor who wrote “The Respectful School: How Educators and Students Can Conquer Hate and Harassment,” will visit Coeur d’Alene schools and meet with student groups in October and January.

Wessler’s consulting work is part of an effort by the school district to crack down on bullying at all grade levels and change the culture that permits it to thrive.

His visits and recommendations will be funded by $11,000 from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, $2,000 from Kootenai Electric Cooperative’s Operation Round Up program, and another $3,000 to $4,000 from the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, officials announced this morning.

“We know that bullying is an issue in our schools, as it is in schools and communities across the state, nation and world,” Superintendent Matt Handelman said at a press conference at the Human Rights Education Institute. “As educators, we know we plan an important role in combating such behaviors. We also know that we cannot do it alone.”

The district also will present an update on its anti-bullying efforts Monday, 5:30 to 7 p.m., at the Coeur d’Alene Kroc Center. The program is for students and families.


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