ITHACA, N.Y. — A newly formed Tompkins County Bullying Prevention Task Force will hold a public forum on youth bullying and harassment June 15. At the forum, there will be a report from the task force’s working group on the prevalence and impact of bullying, along with potential school and public programs that may address the issue.

“Working together to create communities where all young people feel safe and that they belong, the Bullying Prevention Task Force is inviting members of the public to come and learn more about the work that has been done so far and to help us envision the next steps for this regional initiative,” Jaydn McCune, a Racker program director and forum organizer, said in a statement. “We hope to see anybody who has been touched by the issue of bullying, whether you are a young person, family member, community member, or provider.”

Tompkins County Bullying Prevention Task Force gathered in March 2019. (Provided Photo)

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About one in five students nationwide experience bullying at school, reports show. In the fall, parents and community members in Lansing started to come together to form a task force to stop bullying and foster mental health. The new county-wide task force holding the forum is wider-reaching and contains members from 28 government agencies, community organizations and local schools.

The forum is open to the public and will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 15 in the BorgWarner Community Room of the Tompkins County Public Library. Members of the public are invited to share knowledge and suggestions for promoting bullying free communities.

Bridgette Nugent, deputy director of the Tompkins County Youth Services Department, said in a news release that the task force has brought together parents, service providers, school personnel and community members to better understand the resources and strategies needed to take on bullying. She said the task force, which she is the co-coordinator of, is “energized to take real action to address a very real problem in our community.”

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.