The City of Palm Springs Human Rights Commission will host a FREE community forum and discussion, “Bullying: A Community Symposium on Prevention and Intervention Strategies to coincide with National Bullying Prevention Month on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros.

Bullying is one of the most common forms of violence, affecting millions of American children and adolescents annually. According to CDC violence prevention data, nearly 14% of public schools report that bullying happens at least once a week (28%) followed by high schools (16%), combined schools (12%), and primary schools (9%). In a 2018 report regarding cyberbullying, the Pew Research Center noted that nearly 59% of youth have been bullied online, often multiple times. Tragically, there is a strong association between bullying and depression, anxiety, and suicide-related behaviors.

The keynote speaker will be Judy French, Coordinator, National Bullying Prevention Center – Los Angeles. The organization actively leads social change to prevent childhood bullying, so that all youth are safe and supported in their schools, communities and online.

A panel of subject matter experts, including representatives from Boo2Bullying.org, Queer Works, the Palm Springs Unified School District, Alianza Coachella Valley, and the Palm Springs Police Department will share their insights and discuss how parents, youth, community leaders, educators, and others can help to prevent, report, and mitigate bullying, as well as support victims. Several other community organizations will be available to provide resources and discuss how their work supports the Palm Springs community, including the Acrisure Arena and the Coachella Valley Firebirds, who are working to expand their own anti-bullying program into Palm Springs Unified this year.

“Far too many in our community know first-hand the impact of bullying. The City of Palm Springs is committed to a future where all are treated with respect,” said Mayor Lisa Middleton. “We on the Palm Springs City Council thank and appreciate those who have organized this important community symposium with the goal of educating our community about what we can do prevent bullying.”

Complimentary light refreshments will be available. For more information about this inaugural event, visit “In the Spotlight” at palmspringsca.gov.