This blog represents my opinions and my opinions alone, and certainly doesn't represent the collective thoughts of any of the Boards or organizations that I serve on. Unfortunately I make all sorts of miistakes, I'm a picky eater, I can't sing and I just recently found out I have been spelling certain words in my vocabulary wrong my entire life. That being said, I still continue to muddle ever onward. Welcome.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dane County Youth Commission Presentation By Dr. Dorothy Espelage

Board President Susan Fox, member Lionel Norton and I spent the morning at a presentation by Dr. Dorothy Espelage entitled Bully Prevention and Intervention: And Other Topics for the Dane County Youth Assessment. Her lecture, which was held in the Middleton High School Performing Arts Center, was sponsored by the Dane County Youth Commission. Dr.Espelage began the morning with an overview of New Perspectives on Bullying Prevention: Why Are Current Programs Not Working? She detailed several topics including cell phone technology and it's usage in bullying, cyber-bullying and sibling bullying. Espelage finished the presentation with Analyses of 2005 and 2008 Dane County Youth Assessment: Considering the Influences and Interactions of Mulitiple Contexts on Adolescent Experiences, examining studies of heterosexual students' willingness to remain friends with and attend school with LGBT peers and cross-sectional attitudes of heterosexual students toward sexual minorities. We also looked at the contributions of three social theories to understand bullying perpetration and victimization among school-aged youth. One of her findings concluded that:
"Overall, the association between low parental caring and bullying perpetration
is minimized when students are in a positive school climate. Furthermore, for
students from schools with positive climate, bullying perpetration is less
likely to be associated with negative peer influence."
I left feeling encouraged that Dr. Espelage's opinion is that maintaining a positive school climate serves well to moderate and minimize the negative influences of family neglect and negative peer pressure. Oftentimes we hear it is near to impossible to combat the negative influences learned/observed at home or from peers. Clearly, our school climate can be a successful influence on the prevention of bullying.


  1. And, before anyone asks, there was no charge to the district for attending.

  2. That is good news, Jessica. Thanks for letting us know. I am so glad to hear that board members are attending conferences like this. Do you know - will the administration be working on a larger plan to improve the school environment that goes beyond simply identifying and pulling out the worst offenders? I am thinking in particular of the race problems at the middle school and high school.

  3. Most definitely. We will be discussing the racial tensions at the high school and GDS at our next Board meeting this coming Wednesday. I am hopeful that we can start building an initiative to alleviate these issues.

  4. Anyone who quotes Capt. James T Kirk has my vote for life!

  5. If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe.

    Ahhh, I'm such a dork.