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Minnesota university targets bullying with online course for teachers

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A longstanding Minnesota liberal arts college is joining the state's fight against bullying, with a new program aimed at training teachers to stop bullying before it becomes a problem.

Hamline University in St. Paul will soon be offering a "Bullying Prevention Certificate" – a 12-month, five-course program available to educators and school administrators, fully online.

A summary of the curriculum indicates enrollees will learn "system-wide" bullying prevention tactics, how to "effectively" involve kids who witness incidents of bullying, and how to address cultural differences that might lead to victimization.

The program will also deal with cyberbullying, and give teachers the tools to pass on what they have learned to other educators.

The Star Tribune reports the program, apparently the state's first, was created with the help of Cheryl Greene, a former K-12 teacher and now, a national trainer on bullying.

She told the paper she decided to tackle the problem following the suicide of one of her middle school students, who had suffered abuse at the hands of his peers.

The university says one in four students reports being bullied "on a regular basis," and according to Psychology Today, some experts believe that "bullying behavior" is increasing.

The first of Hamline's bullying courses begins on June 22.

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