Teachers, students, parents can build a bully-proof school

By Clarion Herald Staff

St. Catherine of Siena School in Metairie invited anti-bullying speaker Tom Thelen to talk to students, staff and parents Sept. 25.

Thelen, founder of “No Bullying Schools,” shared personal experiences with bullying and how he was able, with the help of a treasured teacher, to break free from the damaging cycle of bullying.

Thelen’s first two talks were given to students in the first through seventh grades.

His real-life experiences proved effective in helping students understand the pain that bullying creates and offering solutions on how he stopped the cycle.

Character building, trusted advice and bullying prevention tips are Thelen’s ways of influence.

Thelen supplied teachers with resources to become a support system and role models to youth.

His last session was to SCS parents, educating how to identify bullying, when to intervene and when to empower kids to speak up for themselves and, most importantly, how to build a healthy, non-anxious environment at home that encourages resiliency and self-confidence.

“When students take ownership of their lives, choices and their character, it creates a win-win for them and for the school,” Thelen said.

St. Catherine of Siena’s principal Kimberlie Kilroy said guest professionals help guide students, staff and parents to remain centered on teachings of school’s namesake, St. Catherine of Siena, who urged – “Be who God created you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

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