Safe Schools and Communities Presenters' Bios and Session Descriptions
Responding to Bullying and Developing Anti-bullying Individual Intervention Plans
This interactive, multi-media and hands-on session will address the nature of bullying, the rationale for preventing and stopping it and provide you with the knowledge and skills to empower bystanders. A review of ways you can support victimized students to cope with bullying and help bullies change their negative behaviors will be facilitated through role-playing, simulations, small group discussions and other activities. Individual plans to successfully implement a bully prevention program will be created by the end of the session.
Katia Petersen, Ph.D., senior educational advisor, Institute of Noetic Sciences and president of Peterson Argo, Inc. is an author and recognized training expert in school improvement strategies, and integration of social-emotional and academic learning.
Dr. Petersen's work includes leadership and staff coaching, student and teacher support, as well as parent engagement and community involvement. She began her career in clinical environments with children and youth ages 3-25 as a psychotherapist where she developed family and child treatment programming using expressive therapies. Afterward, she changed focus from intervention to prevention and education. She was employed in the St. Paul (MN) Public Schools as a school psychologist and prevention specialist for ten years.
Dr. Petersen created and implemented an innovative statewide program in Minnesota called The SafeTeam to prevent bullying and harassment while promoting student assets. In collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Education and KMSP-TV (UPN), The SafeTeam program delivered video, print materials and training to all 387 Minnesota school districts, including 500,000 K-6 students and 20,000 elementary school educators in 1,000 Minnesota elementary schools. The program won both the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Best of the Best Children's Television Award and the National Association of Broadcasters National Service to Children's Television Award in Washington, DC.
She is also featured in a 14-part video series entitled Teaching Students to Get Along, distributed nationally as a distance-learning course through seven colleges and universities. She is the co-author of a book of the same title, released in fall 1995, rated #5 in the Top Ten Books of 1996 by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Teaching Students to Get Along staff development videos have won a Teacher's Magazine, Teacher's Choice: 1996 Excellence in the Classroom award.
Bullies and Their Self-Perceptions: Good, Bad or Ugly?
This presentation will cover background information and recent evidence on the role of adolescent self-perception (e.g., self-esteem, narcissism) on aggression. Practical suggestions for identifying problematic self-perceptions and strategies for reducing the associated bullying and aggression will be discussed.
Chris Barry, Ph.D., is associate professor in Department of Psychology, University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Barry has authored or co-authored over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and one text in the areas of child/adolescent assessment and risk factors for child and adolescent behavioral problems. At Southern Miss, he teaches and supervises doctoral students research and clinical work.
Dr. Barry earned his bachelor's in psychology from Virginia Tech University and his master's and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Alabama.
Creating Safer Schools for LGBTQ Youth
This session will look at school environments which can produce unsafe and uninclusive situations for lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender youth. We will also show how heterosexual youth are also victims in these environments. Bullying, push-out and school policies affecting youth will be discussed.
Anna C. Davis is co-founder of the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition. As a staff member of the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition, Ms. Davis is responsible for ensuring all students have a safe learning environment by protecting students’ constitutional rights, ending homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and all forms of discrimination, and fostering acceptance of students regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity through public education and advocacy. Ms. Davis facilitates training nationally and statewide on such topics.
In addition, she served as an intern at the Southern Poverty Law Center where she assisted with grant writing/fundraising, strategic planning, organizational models, policy research, community outreach and collaboration and curriculum development.
She holds a bachelor's and master's degree in mass communications and public relations, respectively.
School Safety: The Role of Campus Crime Stoppers
The presentation will involve the role of Campus Crime Stoppers in keeping schools safe from violence. Participants will learn how to set up a Campus Crime Stoppers Program at their school.
Diane James is coordinator for Metro Crime Stoppers for the Forrest and Lamar County Sheriff’s Departments and the Hattiesburg Police Department. In addition, she has worked with the Mississippi Highway Patrol and federal law enforcement agencies for over ten years. As coordinator, she works with area law officials to identify and locate perpetrators of crime, as well as assists in developing preventive measures in order to keep schools and communities safe.
Marlena Jenkins, is a family and consumer science areer and technical educator and sponsor of Campus Crime Stoppers at Hattiesburg High School.
Ms. Jenkins holds a bachelor's degree in health and human sciences with emphasis in child development.
Basic Gang Awareness
This session will cover basic gang awareness with a focus on criminal gangs in the state of MS. Basic signs, symbols, brief history, and the nexus of traditional street gangs in Mississippi to Chicago, along with suggestions for intervention and prevention will be covered.
Harold Gray is the state gang coordinator for the Homeland Security Fusion Center in the Madison/Rankin District Attorney’s Office and licensed law enforcement officer. Mr. Gray is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating criminal gang intelligence. In addition, he faciltates training in basic gang awareness throughout the state.
Mr. Gray earned his bachelor's degree in recreation with a minor in criminal justice from the University of Southern Mississippi.