Congratulations to all who led, and all who participated in the third of Not in Our Town’s series Bullying – Changing the Culture at the Princeton Public Library, Transcending Punishment – the Healing Approach to Bullying, workshop.

 It was very well attended — the room was full and the whole spectrum of the community participated — students (Middle and High School), principals Gary Snyder from PHS, and Jason Burr from JWMS, educators, police officers, community program providers (GAIA-Corner House, HiTops, YWCA, Kidsbridge), parents. 

There was a wonderful sense of community. Jane Martin, of Volitions Wellness Solutions and Retribe’s Social Pathways,   had a demanding job to keep everyone engaged and did this very well. She gave a detailed overview of approaches to bullying programs and theories and involved two Project GAIA students in a short skit as well. The transition into small groups went remarkably smoothly. We definitely got a taste of how to frame and act more effectively in a conflict/bullying situation. (Photo shows Jane and the circled groups hard at work). 

Special thanks to Kim Dorman of the PPL who helped us with the event, and to those who came early to help with the set-up, registration, assistance with organizing groups, cleaning up, photos,  and putting chairs away.  Shown at right: Jane Martin, center, with NIOT planners Ann Yasuhara (left) and Wilma Solomon (right). 

Each of us has helped to continue an important conversation on how we can more empathetically treat those for whom blame and punishment are usually the response. 

And speaking of conversations, Monday, February 4, 7:30 at the Library, will be a Continuing Conversation devoted to the themes begun that night. 

Continuing Conversations on Race offer a safe space to discuss difficult topics — issues of relevance to our community and nation. These first monthly sessions, planned and facilitated by Not in Our Town in Partnership with the Princeton Public Library, are a friendly, confidential opportunity to share ideas and voice concerns.