Suffolk education leader uses improv to teach bullying prevention

An unconventional bullying prevention workshop was held at the Riverhead Library Wednesday night ahead of the new school year.

News 12 Staff

Aug 25, 2022, 2:35 AM

Updated 659 days ago

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An unconventional bullying prevention workshop was held at the Riverhead Library Wednesday night ahead of the new school year.
John Martin, with the Suffolk County Office of Health Education, used implied improvisation as a tool for bullying prevention at the meeting. There was clapping, laughing, shouting and other silly movements involved.
He says with kids about to go back to school fully in-person for the first time since the pandemic started, his biggest concern is how they'll manage the social skills they didn't get to learn or fully develop.
"A lot of the sadness, anxiety, depression, vaping, drug use that took place for them to cope with is now going to be brought back into the schools,” Martin says.
The Smith family, of Calverton, says they came with the hopes of learning how to better communicate with younger people about bullying, albeit in a way they did not expect.
"I arrived as a skeptic, but he's got a wonderful program,” Paul Smith says.
Martin hopes that everyone at the meeting learned new coping strategies to respond to bullying that will empower them to learn how to say no, but still save face and not be embarrassed or cave to peer pressure.


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