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Bullying Prevention Institute Designed to Empower Change in Schools
Date:10/1/2007

Highmark Healthy High 5 convenes national experts at unique forum to

address bullying prevention on Oct. 4 and 5

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Every day more than 160,000 students miss school. This absence is not due to illness; it is because of a fear of being bullied. Studies have shown that 77 percent of students report that they have been bullied mentally, verbally or physically in school. Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power or strength, and is becoming a serious, national health issue.

On October 4 and 5, Highmark Healthy High 5, an initiative of the Highmark Foundation, will present the Bullying Prevention Institute at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA. This event is the only one of its kind in Pennsylvania.

Held in collaboration with the Office of Community Health, Conemaugh Health System, this two-day event will feature national bullying prevention experts and serve as a kickoff to a statewide discussion on the national crisis of bullying. The keynote speaker is Stan Davis, a certified consultant for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.

A nationally-recognized, evidence-based bullying prevention program, the Olweus program has been utilized for more than 25 years, and is a system-wide approach that focuses on changing behaviors that lead to an improvement in school and a reduction in antisocial behaviors. This program has significant results in decreasing bullying behaviors among children in grades K-10.

"Bullying is a serious public health issue that affects countless children and adolescents every day," said Aaron Walton, chairman of the board of the Highmark Foundation. "The Highmark Foundation believes it is important to support anti-bullying efforts since bullying is correlated with increased reports of physical illness in children and adolescents. We are committed to bringing together bullying prevention experts, community organi
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SOURCE Highmark Foundation
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