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Faculty in-service to focus on bullying

County school faculty members will meet on Aug. 4 at Chilton County High School for an in-service on methods to combat and prevent harassment and bullying for the 2010-11 school year.

Judge Rhonda Hardesty and Jessica Messer, of the Juvenile Justice Program, will also participate in the in-service.

Notable speaker Jay Banks will be the keynote speaker. Known as a speaker, educator and entertainer, Banks will also be in Chilton County during the final week of August to present programs to area students as part of the “STAMP Out Bullying” campaign. He will also hold individual workshops for each school.

Banks has appeared on several television networks, including NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, PBS, Nickelodeon and The Hallmark Channel.

“We are thrilled to have him and his program for our teachers, administrators and students,” said board of education school improvement specialist and professional development coordinator Karen Mitchell.

The school system has topics that it wants to stress to each school as to all as a whole. In-services used to be school-specific and were done on the first day of school in many cases.

But because the state has put such a large emphasis on preventing bullying, Chilton County decided to add extra focus to it.

“We want to make sure we’re all educated on the subject and that we all respond the way we can to help our students,” Mitchell said. “We want to know what our legal rights and limits are, and we want the tools to be able to help our students.”

Mitchell said in-services serve as an opportunity for faculty members to continue to grow as professionals.

“You get stagnant if you don’t do development,” she said. “It’s always been a focus of what we do.”

All Chilton County teachers are required to attend the in-service, which counts as part of their work day.