Fort Lauderdale, FL (October 11, 2017) - Ann Storck Center (ASC), in partnership with the Broward Sheriff's Office and The Broward County Crime Commission, has developed the "Buddies Over Bullies" program. This program expands on ASC’s current educational program regarding abuse prevention; with a focus on the effects that bullying can have on individuals with disabilities, and the signs that parents can look for in their children.
The United States Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have stated that bullying may also be considered harassment when it is based on a student’s race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion. “No individual, let alone one with a disability should have to go through any kind of harassment or be bullied in any capacity,” ASC’s Chief Executive Officer Charlotte Mather-Taylor said. “We should be encouraging them to move forward and do things they never thought they could do, not tearing down their confidence.”
The “Buddies Over Bullies” program fosters a safer community through skill building, education and community sensitivity training. Over the next few months, the program will conduct a series of six anti-bullying workshops throughout Broward County, covering different topics regarding bullying with expert guest speakers. Some of these topics include the legal ramifications of bullying, cyber bullying, the psychological effects of bullying, a first-hand account from a victim of bullying, and more.
“The first step of bullying awareness is educating yourself,” ASC’s Director of Social Services Joanna Robertson said. “After that, it’s our job to be part of the solution, and not the problem.”
It’s important to know that someone’s behavior can be a sign that they’re a bully. That’s why during each workshop, attendees will have the opportunity to sign a pledge against bullying. Attendees will learn that even being a bystander and doing nothing can be considered submissive bullying. According to a study conducted between York University and Queen’s University, when bystanders intervene, bullying stops within ten seconds 57% of the time.
The workshops are free for individuals of all ages, background and abilities. For the dates, times, and locations of the workshops, please visit www.annstorckcenter.org/anti-bullying.
About Ann Storck Center
Ann Storck Center (ASC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. ASC has been serving the community for over 65 years, originally being known as the Pediatric Care Center, then in 1981 becoming known as ASC. The Center cares for the most medically fragile and vulnerable individuals in South Florida. It strives to create an exceptional living and learning environment which helps to discover abilities and builds independence. The dedicated staff provides compassionate and caring services for the more than 300 children and adults daily and is commended for their commitment to excellence. ASC continues to raise the bar and set standards of care for others to follow. For up-to-date information, please visit www.annstorckcenter.org, www.facebook.com/AnnStorckCenter, on Instagram and Twitter @AnnStorckCenter.