Learn to prevent bullying of people with developmental disabilities

 

TOMS RIVER –  Bullying is an aggressive act of one person or group who is perceived to be stronger against a weaker or more compliant person.

It can occur at any time, in any place, and at any age. People deserve to live free from harassment and abuse.

Two branches of the Ocean County Library will host “Together we are Stronger than Bullying,” a program developed by the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities.

The program will emphasize the bullying committed against people with developmental disabilities and outline the efforts that are used to stop it.

“The program is useful for everyone,” said Lisa Ferrara, chairperson of the library’s Serving Adults with Special Challenges Programming Workgroup. “Whether it is individuals with disabilities, their families, peers or caregivers, it is everyone’s job to stand up to bullying.”

“Sometimes bullying stems from a lack of tolerance or a failure to understand a disability,” she said. “By educating people of all ability levels we will have fewer people  who are likely to bully and more people who will advocate and stand up for those with disabilities.”

Frank Latham, NJCDD’s coordinator for youth leadership programs, will lead the programs.

Classified with a learning disability, Latham brings both a professional and personal experience with disabilities into his program. He has a unique insight into the struggles of students with disabilities.

The programs will be held:

11 a.m. Thursday Oct. 2 in Mancini Hall at the Toms River branch, 101 Washington St., 732-349-6200 or 609-971-0514;

6 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 21 at the Little Egg Harbor branch, 290 Mathistown Rd., 609-294-1197.

The programs are free and open to the public but registration is required. To register telephone the branch or go to the library’s website www.theoceancountylibrary.org , click on the “Events & News” icon, then click on “Calendar of Events.”

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