SP2 symposium addresses bullying at all ages


Bullying is a national concern, so much so that last year President Obama felt compelled to convene the first-ever White House Conference on Bullying Prevention.

At the conference, the president, the first lady, and approximately 150 students, parents, teachers, non-profit leaders, advocates, and policymakers gathered to discuss ways to make schools and communities safer places.

“Bullying can have destructive consequences for our young people,” President Obama said at the conference. “And it’s not something we have to accept. As parents and students, teachers and communities, we can take steps that will help prevent bullying and create a climate in our schools in which all of our children can feel safe.”

This year, on Thursday, March 29, the Alumni Council of the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) will address the problem of bullying through a forum called “Bullying Across the Lifespan: Targeting the Bully.” The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Bodek Lounge in Houston Hall. Attendees will get a better understanding of bullies, their victims, and what social change agents are doing reduce the threatening behavior. 


Candace diCarlo

Richard J. Gelles, dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice.

“This symposium doesn’t promise a magic wand to end bullying,” says Santo D. Marabella, chair of the SP2 Alumni Council. “But it will educate participants about the prevalence of bullying across the lifespan, shed light on the demons of the bully, and offer insights on ways to make a difference in the lives impacted so adversely by bullying.”

The evening will include question-and-answer sessions with experts on bullying from each stage of life—youth, adult, and elderly—and will also feature a facilitated discussion about strategies that can make a difference to prevent bullying in the future.

SP2 Dean Richard J. Gelles says the conference provides social work professionals an opportunity to engage with the local community about an issue that has touched many people in a significant way.   

“Whether you have been a bully, a victim, a victim’s loved one, or a bystander, this symposium allows social workers and the public to contribute to the discussion about a topic that many people face,” he says.

The forum is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Santo D. Marabella at 215-898-5511 or email sp2alumnicouncil@gmail.com.

Originally published on March 1, 2012