Hampden District Attorney partnering with schools in anti-bullying effort

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Teachers in Hampden County have more knowledge on how to prevent bullying after the first Safe School Summit with Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni.

Teachers educate children on much more than what can be found in a textbook. They teach them how to interact with others and become a classroom community.

“I think that the key to thinking about bullying is about developing relationships, and not only relationships that the educator has with the students, but that the students have with each other,” said Massachusetts Teachers Association President Barbara Madeloni said. She said that might not be the focus anymore. “Because of the pressure that educators are feeling about testing and students are feeling that kind of pressure, it’s harder to find time to do that work,” Madeloni told 22News.

At the Safe School Summit at the UMass Center in Springfield Wednesday morning, teachers and the DA’s Office discusses issues like bullying and trauma management.

“We do get a lot of information on bullying and prevention within our district, but the more information we get, the more we understand and the better off everybody is,” Eileen Dziok, a team leader from the Chicopee Public Schools.

This summit was all about communication. Communication with students in the classroom in understanding their backgrounds and their needs. And also communication between the school districts and the district attorney’s office.

“We’re really focused on helping teachers understand crisis, deal with issues like bullying and sexting and all kinds of cyber issues, kind of modern day issues, as well as dealing with populations that are struggling,” Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni told 22News.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association has been partnering with district attorneys across the commonwealth for three years in an effort to make schools safer.