Community invited to engage in anti-bullying dialogue
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The University of Iowa College of Education’s Teacher Leader Center is taking on bullying in a year-long series of workshops and other learning opportunities for future teachers as well as community members.

The center’s program, “Stop the Bully, Find a Solution,” will offer several workshops led by UI College of Education faculty and national leaders on issues such as bullying in the schools, and psychological and medical issues related to bullying.

Susannah Wood, an associate professor of school counseling, will speak on cyberbullying Thursday, Sept. 27. Counseling Psychology Professor John Westefeld, a national suicide expert, will speak on suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention Thursday, Nov. 8.

William Coghill-Behrends, Educational Support Services coordinator in the Teacher Leader Center, says this series of workshops is inspired by troubling headlines, especially recent suicides in Iowa linked to bullying.

Stop the Bully, Find a Solution

“We need to do everything we can to stop this and provide our students with research-based resources and strategies to combat this problem,” Coghill-Behrends says.

The first event, “Bully Prevention 101,” will take place Friday, Sept. 7, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Teacher Leader Center on the first floor of Lindquist Center North. Two Area Education Agency experts will lead the workshop, presenting research-based anti-bully best practices.

The series continues with three community discussions this fall: LGBT Issues and Bullying on Thursday, Oct. 4; Parents and Bullying Monday, Nov. 12; and Disability and Bullying on Thursday, Nov. 15.

Another featured event Friday, Nov. 30 will discuss “Law, Leadership & Bullying” and will feature the college’s associate dean Susan Lagos Lavenz as well as other state leaders, including Penny Bisignano of the Iowa Department of Education.

In addition to the workshop and discussion events, the bullying series includes a suggested reading list. College of Education students can check out the books, which are a collection of titles recommended by College of Education faculty. To see the list, visit

College of Education students will attend these events as part of earning their Teacher Leader Certificate, which is a series of experiences and competencies in assessment, technology, and community engagement to encourage strong classroom leadership skills among UI College of Education teacher education graduates.

“Workshops like these offer an added value for our pre-service teachers beyond their coursework and clinical experiences,” says Rebecca Anthony, Educational Support Services director in the Teacher Leader Center.

Most of the “Stop the Bully, Find a Solution” events and activities are open to the public.

“Community members are encouraged to attend and participate in this important dialogue,” Coghill-Behrends says.

To read a Campus Voices column written by Coghill-Behrends, visit

To learn more about the bullying series, visit