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Parenting the hero to confront the bully in the social network

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Next week April 1 and again on April 2, St. Joseph Marello Catholic Church in Granite Bay is hosting a public event educating parents how to protect their child from the bully. Featured speakers are Bob Lyons, Ed.D., who currently serves as the Director of Technology for Nevada Joint Union High School District and is a member of the SJM Parenting Ministry Steering Committee, and Lisa Ford-Berry, founder of BRAVE Society, a Carmichael non-profit dedicated to peer abuse prevention and education .

“We know that parent involvement is critical to help children cope with the issues that can lead to and allow bullying and peer abuse,” Lyons said. “And so it is our goal with this seminar to give parents the insights, tips and resources they need to be an effective advocate and support for their own child at home and at school.”

Ford-Berry lost her 17-year-old son, Michael Berry, to a bully-induced suicide on his high school campus in September 2008. Michael’s tragic death made clear how cruel and hostile the norms our children experience while left unchecked in their cyber-powered communities. He was an excellent student and well-liked. So when a another student found out he was saving himself for marriage, and thought it would be funny to start a rumor that he was gay, a hate-biased, homophobic harassment campaign ensued against Michael completely isolating him. His pleas for help went unanswered by school teachers and administrators. He was not perceived to be an at-risk-youth and so his parents were not notified he had an issue on campus.

Ford-Berry will offer tips for parents to be the positive and effective influence our children need modeled in confronting an abusive climate at school, home or work. “Parents and educators have to be on the same team,” she said. “And as long as educators and parents are expecting the other to solve the problem, there can be no peace for the children. We are all a part of the problem and the solution.”

Related: How to teach forgiveness as a cyber-safe family value


  • Event: Confronting the Bully: How to Protect Your Child
  • Date: Apr. 1, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. and Apr. 2 10:00 a. m. to noon (encore).
  • Location: St. Joseph Marello Catholic Church, 7200 Auburn Folsom Rd., Granite Bay, CA 95746
  • Attendance is free. Donations are welcome.

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