Dolores Schools presents “Parenting with Wit and Wisdom” by best-selling author and speaker Barbara Coloroso on April 11 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the main high school gym.
Coloroso is an expert on bully prevention, creating a positive school climate, grieving and restorative justice. She is the author of four international bestsellers on parenting, teaching ethical behavior and the problem of bullying. She has appeared on Oprah and CNN and has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, and Time.
“I teach kids how to stand up to injustices nonviolently, and teach parents how to raise ethical human beings,” she said in an interview.
Recent youth suicides in Dolores and Montezuma County have led to more awareness of the problem of bullying and student mental health. Coloroso said similar issues are happening in nearby Montrose, and elsewhere in the state.
“Colorado has a high rate of suicides. I will be addressing how bullying can push kids over the edge,” she said. “We want to raise a generation of kids who will speak out and defend the victim when they see bullying.”
The evening will be packed with solid practical advice for parents and how to identify and combat mental health issues.
Coloroso said a common misconception is that bullying is normal, but it’s not healthy behavior. Often parents, teachers and adults fail to recognize when normal youth conflict elevates to bullying intended to do harm.
Addressing that situation is a needed skill for students, teachers and parents, she said, adding that bullying is more than just the bully and the victim.
“The not-so innocent bystander is also part of the cycle. The one that is laughing, ignoring the situation, the one that is downloading the You Tube video, they are all part of the problem,” she said. “I teach on how to break that cycle, and help spread courage for kids to recognize when someone is being bullied, then step in and be more caring and do the right thing.”
Bringing in experts like Coloroso is part of a wider effort by the Dolores School District to address student mental health and behavior issues. An elementary school counselor position was recently created, and the school was awarded a planning grant for a health clinic that would provide physical and mental health services for students.
Free child care will be provided at the event.