“I’ve never met a girl who doesn’t have something to be sorry about,” said Rachel Simmons to her female audience on April 12. “It’s not, ‘people were so mean to me and now I’m so nice.’ No one’s perfect.”
On April 12, Ms. Simmons, a nationally regarded speaker on bullying prevention and female empowerment, spoke to the girls of the Williston Northampton School about how they could identify hurtful behavior, and change the patterns that created it.
The Upper School had divided in two for the special morning assembly. Girls listened to Ms. Simmons in the Phillips Stevens Chapel, while boys headed to the Williston Theatre to hear Dr. Christopher Overtree, director of the Psychological Services Center (PSC) at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an expert on the prevention of bullying and harassment.
Rob Hackenson pulled a ladder out of his bag and began taping pieces of paper to it. “High school” went on one rung, “college” on another, and then “job,” “family,” “retirement,” and “travel.”
It was, he told Williston Northampton students during an assembly on March 29, the general route that each one of them would take during the course of their lives.
“Each and every one of you have certain aspirations and things you want to obtain,” Mr. Hackenson said. “Certain decisions can help you attain them, and certain things can make them much more difficult.”
Dr. Sameer Hinduja believes that modern technology can be useful—but only if it’s used in a responsible, positive way.
The co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center shared that message with The Williston Northampton School community this week. An evening presentation on Monday, April 2, was designed for parents, followed by a talk at all-school assembly on Tuesday morning.
In the evening, Dr. Hinduja encouraged parents to talk to their sons and daughters about online activity. He urged them to be involved and set ground rules.
Dr. Sameer Hinduja will visit The Williston Northampton School on Monday, April 2 and Tuesday, April 3.
Dr. Hinduja, an Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University and Co-Director of the Cyberbulling Research Center, works nationally and internationally with the public and private sectors to reduce online victimization and its consequences.