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www.gae.org | 23 THE RESPECTFUL SESSIONS: The workshops I host address Respect and Kindness as well as bully awareness, empathy and compassion. It is my privilege to work with students, educators and parents and talk it all out at your school. We laugh, we cry, we dance, we sing, we hug. We figure out answers. We help one another. I teach these students valuable lessons ~ If you don’t give respect, you’re not going to receive it. Here’s a story I use at my workshops to help Middle and High School students “be the better person.” On a cold January day earlier this year I found myself completely inspired from the speakers and presenters at the Fulton-DeKalb Anti-Violence Summit at Carver YMCA. It was a who’s who of Georgia leadership. From Atlanta City Councilmen to representatives of the Martin Luther King Center, their powerful messaging on bullying prevention and anti-violence education literally gave me chills. After shaking hands and exchanging business cards, I popped by the bathroom on my way out the door, still buzzing from all the excitement. While washing my hands I look down and see a folded up piece of paper that reads, “Don’t read me until you see my letter.” Curiosity got the best of me, I pick up the paper, unfolded it, only to find some of the cruelest, meanest language I’ve ever read. “You ugly!!!” “I’ma gonna beat yo expletive so you can’t even get up and walk away from it. Watch.” My stomach knotted up and my mouth fell open, literally. To be at an anti-bullying, anti-violence event, only to find a bully note literally 30 feet away from a panelist of experts. How can this be? It can be, because - 1 in 7 students in grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying. - 56% of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school. - 15% of all school absenteeism is directly related to fears of being bullied at school. - 71% of students report incidents of bullying as a problem a t their school. (source: stop-bullying-now blog 2013) I don’t stop here. I then show workshop attendees another folded up piece of paper… my friend’s daughter’s suicide note. She is no longer with us, she killed herself over bullying. I bring these two tragedies full-circle by giving Respectful Session attendees their own folded up piece of paper to give to someone they’ve wronged. You don’t have to be a bully to be mean. We all have someone we can apologize to, and sometimes writing it down pen to paper makes it easier. “Be at peace with your olive branch,” is the last lesson learned from this trilogy. If the person isn’t ready for an apology and wants to hold onto anger, YOU be at peace knowing you feel compassion in your heart. You turned the page, changed your attitude and took responsibility. My Respectful Sessions for primary students is filled with positive insights, puppets and often live music. JOIN OUR COMMUNITY AT RESPECTFULWAYS.COM Gain answers and fellowship by joining our community of concerned parents, teachers, counselors and school administrators. I host webinars, Respectful Session workshops, offer one-of-a-kind signage at steep discounts, write e-newsletters, and post excellent information to help you achieve a Respectful school environment. You have the power to raise anti-bully awareness and kind-spirited kids while raising much-needed money to help your children get the best education possible. We listen to your needs ~ Let us know your recommendations and we’ll produce specific materials for you! We are a Georgia-based business able to travel anywhere across our great state to help our kids. Join us today for a safer tomorrow and you’ll receive a bonus of Respectful Reminder signs for FREE! www.RespectfulWays.com When you add up all the issues kids face today ~ homework, social media, peer pressure, drugs, sex, fashion, competitive sports, etc., it’s no wonder they don’t always make the best decisions. Respectful Ways is here to help you help them make better decisions. ABOUT  30%  OF KIDS ADMIT  BULLYING OTHERS - stopbullying.gov 49%  OF KIDS IN GRADES 4-12 REPORTED BEING BULLIED - stopbullying.gov 88%  OF TEEN SOCIAL MEDIA USERS HAVE WITNESSED A FORM OF CYBERBULLYING - PEW Research Center 70%  OF STUDENTS & SCHOOL STAFF ADMIT TO WITNESS BULLYING - stopbullying.gov About author and entrepreneur Pamela McNall: THE RESPECTFUL WAYS BRAND is the brain child of Pamela McNall, Founder of Respectful Signage.com. She’s an Emmy and Peabody award-winning media producer and writer, turned entrepreneur and public speaker after 20 years in television production. She specializes in childhood development programs and bullying awareness fundraising platforms for PTAs, schools and youth groups to help them raise funds while raising anti-bully and respect awareness. She hosts “The Respectful Sessions” ~ a series of educational workshops and webinars used as effective teaching tools for organizations and school systems to reinforce the ground rules of respectful behavior.  To contact Pam call 678-464-0962 or email: Pam@RespectfulSignage.com


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