The new law, An Act to Prohibit Bullying and Cyberbullying in Schools (PL 659), requires all schools to provide professional development and staff training in the best approaches to implementing this law. This section provides a listing of free professional trainings for schools.
Bias-Based Harassment Training: Challenging Bias and Harassment in Our Schools
Description: The training educates adults about the harmful effects of bias and bias-based behaviors on targeted individuals and overall school climate and culture. It focuses specifically on bias related the civil rights categories protected under Maine law: race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, physical and mental disability, gender and sexual orientation. Adults are challenged to recognize the bias that exists in all our schools and do something to address it.
Sponsors: Office of the Attorney General, Civil Rights Team Project
Target audience: Any adults working with elementary, middle level and/or high schools.
Time: Three full hours, offered during in-service time or after school.
More information and booking: www.maine.gov/ag/civil_rights/staff_training.shtml
Bullying Prevention Training - Thinking in Circles: A 360° Approach to Bullying in Your School
Description: By all accounts, peer aggression in schools is on the rise, an old problem with a nasty cyber update. On the urgent necessity of effective intervention, and of character education in general, consensus comes easily. The question is how.
Punishments and rewards may appear to provide a quick fix, but the research consistently concludes that punitive measures do not solve the problem. By isolating the offender from the community, such disciplinary actions may prolong the problem or drive it underground, teaching kids to avoid punishment and curry favor rather than developing authentic mutual respect.
In this day-long workshop offering, the team will present two integrated solutions to the bullying crisis: a community-based process – The Circle – for responding to incidents of peer aggression, and a student-centered pedagogy – Course 360° – that models how independent critical thinking becomes the academic basis of empathy. Both approaches embody a 360° perspective on teaching and learning.
Sponsors: A partnership between the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, the Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast and local Rotary Clubs.
Target audience: Middle schools but also appropriate for high schools and adults.
More information and booking: Visit the website
Bullying Prevention Training Modules for Bus Drivers
Description: Information related to bus drivers is posted on the Student Transportation website. Scroll down and you will see links to training modules developed by the United States DOE and NAPT and other information.
Childhood Exposure to Violence and Trauma
Description: The Defending Childhood Initiative and the Maine Children's Initiative offer training to educators and school administrators on the issues of childhood exposure to violence and trauma. Training is free, available statewide and can be adapted for the needs of any audience. Both the Defending Childhood Initiative and the Maine Children's Initiative are federally funded projects.
Training for educators on childhood exposure to violence and trauma includes:
- Information on the scope and nature of the problem
- Discussion of the impact of violence and trauma on children and teens
- Strategies that support children who have been exposed to violence
- Referral and treatment options available that help children heal
- Strategies for prevention that support children and teens to thrive
More information and booking: In the Greater Portland area, contact Portland Defending Childhood employee Barrett Wilkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-874-8735. Those located statewide (outside of Portland), contact the Maine Children's Initiative through Rebecca Hoffmann Frances at email@example.com or 207-553-9309.
Cyberbullying Training: Identifying & Preventing the Six Most Common Cyberbullying Tactics
Description: Most people know the term "cyberbullying" but have no real grasp of how it works or how to define it. To prevent cyberbullying, you’ve got to pinpoint certain behaviors behind the technology before you can develop effective strategies to combat it. Stephens' presentation will focus on six of the most common types of digital harassment through the use of the Internet, cell phones and video cameras with tips and advice from cyberbullying experts, law enforcement, attorneys, bullying counselors and even a martial arts expert.
Presented by: Kay Stephens, co-author of Cyberslammed: Understand, Prevent, Combat & Transform the Most Common Cyberbullying Tactics
Target audience: Parents, administrators, educators and superintendents of students in fifth to 12th grade.
Cost: Free presentations in Maine until October 2013.
Time: A one-hour dynamic presentation (Powerpoint) that needs a projector, followed by Q&A. In some areas, legislators may also be on hand to answer questions as part of the presentation. Ideal for school in-service days, after-school educator assemblies, adult workshops, library presentations and small groups.
Disability Awareness Programs
Description: The Cromwell Center offers free programs in third, fourth and fifth grades to help children become more inclusive of students with disabilities. See their website for more information.
Gender-based Harassment and Sexual Violence Education
Description: Member centers of the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MECASA) offer school-based prevention education across a range of ages, from pre-school through college, which is designed to meet the Maine Department of Education’s Health Education Learning Results and to incorporate the related Sexual Assault Key Concepts. At the youngest grades, the age-appropriate material focuses on personal body safety, boundaries and healthy friendships. As students mature, they learn new skills such as standing up to bullying and recognizing and responding to sexual- and gender-based harassment online and offline. Older students learn about bystander engagement, critical analysis of media sources and their portrayal of violence, and how to understand and combat gender stereotypes and other cultural norms that support sexual violence and bias-based harassment. Prevention education is a crucial step toward improving school climate and student safety and respect, and is available at no cost to Maine schools through Maine’s sexual violence service providers. In the last five years, Maine’s sexual violence service providers have delivered over 10,500 education sessions to over 200,000 students across the state.
Target audience: All ages; programming focused on bullying, bias and gender stereotypes is typically targeted to middle and high school.
Time: Varies; programming is designed to fit into a typical class length, may be single or multiple sessions.
More information and booking: A complete list of MECASA’s member centers can be found online, or you may call the MECASA office to be connected to your nearest service provider at 207-626-0034.
Maine Suicide Prevention Trainings
Description: Multiple suicide prevention training programs are offered throughout Maine for various audiences. Selection includes gatekeeper training, Lifelines teacher training, training of trainers, middle schools lessons, and suicide assessment for clinicians. See the website for more information and booking details.
Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN)
MYAN's mission is to empower and prepare youth and adults to partner for positive change by offering them training, networking and leadership opportunities. The website includes resources for school staff and youth and trainings, including:
- Youth Leaders Alliance Training Program
- Youth Leadership and Youth Adult Partnership Training: Super Power Partners Training Program
Learn more about these two programs on the MYAN website.
Reducing Sexism and Violence and Bystander Intervention
Program 1 - Reducing Sexism and Violence Program (RSVP)
Description: RSVP is an intensive bystander intervention program that trains high school students as leaders in preventing sexual violence, dating abuse and harassment. The 28-hour program begins with a two-day retreat for 40 student leaders, followed by two days of train-the-trainer work at school. RSVP-trained students then form teams that conduct ongoing awareness activities and education in their schools.
Cost: Boys to Men provides RSVP programs free of cost to schools, subject to the availability of grant funds.
Target audience: High school boys and girls
Time: Four days (two-day, overnight retreat followed by two training days at school)
More information and registration: Maine Boys to Men website
Program 2 - Build It! Bystander Intervention for Middle School
Description: Build It! trains groups of 30 7th and 8th grade student leaders to prevent and reduce harassment, sexual harassment, sexual violence and dating abuse. Students learn the dynamics of abuse and effective and safe bystander intervention skills.
Cost: Contact Boys to Men for information about grant funding.
Target audience: 7th and 8th grade boys and girls.
Time: Two school days
More information and registration: Maine Boys to Men website
SEALS Fit Program
Description: SEALS-Fit, a youth leadership and anti-bullying program, is an intensive seven-week program led by retired Navy Seal Hans Ruediger with mentors from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Participants are challenged with demanding physical training and interpersonal skills development.
More information and registration: Read recent news online, and for more information, contact Lt. Janine Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-874-8927.
Sexual and Cyber Harassment Prevention
Description: Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine offers a number of trainings for educators of various grade levels on topics ranging from sexual assault prevention, personal body safety and cyber harassment prevention. Visit the website for more details.
Target audience: Educators and students
Cost: SARSSM Education Programs are free to schools and community groups in York and Cumberland County. The programs welcome honorariums.
Time: 60-90 minutes. All programs take place in the classroom.
Youth Leadership and Youth Adult Partnership Training: Super Power Partners Training Program
Description: An academic year-long Training Partnership, for 7th to 12th grade youth and adults who are a formed group and interested in making an impact in a specific topic area in their community. Groups selected will be given two to four on-site training opportunities throughout the year, and each training will be tailored to the groups’ individual development, topic area and the natural progression of their plan for action. These trainings may include youth leadership & engagement, advocacy skills to support policy and environmental change, action planning and team building/group development.
More information and sign-up: If you’re interested in participating, please fill out a survey on the website before Jan. 11, 2013. This is a free program. For more information, contact email@example.com.