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Anti-Bullying Town Hall Meetings Planned

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Town hall meetings to address bullying will be held around the country in a partnership between the National PTA and Discovery Education. The first will be held May 9 in Charlotte, N.C.

In a joint release, the non-profit parent-teacher group and the for-profit Discovery Education, which offers standards-based digital content for K-12, announced their plan to discuss bullying prevention and intervention‐as well as mental health assistance—with students, parents, educators and other community members across the nation.

The two entities say that the town halls are intended as a "meaningful response" to President Barack Obama's call for anti-bullying and comprehensive school safety initiatives.

The second town hall will be held in Cincinnati on June 20 as part of the 2013 National PTA Convention and Youth Summit. Additional cities for meetings have yet to be announced.

"Of these, some of the town halls will focus on family-school partnerships, while others will focus on student interventions," according to the release.

An experienced panel of experts who will provide information about, and solutions to, bullying behaviors will be part of each town hall. Advice about how to access mental health assistance will also be part of the program. The town hall will promote interaction and discussion between the panel members and all attendees. Discoveryeducation.com also will host content that addresses contemporary issues that students face around bullying.

"Not every incident of bullying makes headlines, but each and every one is a significant disruption to a student's learning and affects their social and emotional development," National PTA President Betsy Landers said in the release.

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