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I congratulate the Groton-Dunstable School District generally, and Principal Silverman and his committee specifically, for developing a plan to address bullying in our schools.

I agree with their position that our schools should provide a safe environment for all students and that individuals who engage in bullying behavior should be disciplined.

Research shows it is a complex combination of factors that leads a young person to become a bully. But our community has learned that even the most well-intentioned response to bullying can result in tragic results for the bully.

Therefore, I was happy to see that the district’s plan will include new bullying and violence-prevention components, which will be added to the middle-school health curriculum.

Over the past year, our family has organized a group, Teenage Anxiety and Depression Solutions (TADS), that seeks to provide education and resources for young people who suffer from these illnesses. Even bullies can suffer from depression and anxiety.

Fundamental to the work of TADS is the belief that mental illness is a disease of the brain and needs to be treated as any other illness would be. A major part of our mission is to remove the stigma associated with seeking treatment for mental illness. This past year we have provided education for parents and educators and plan to do more of the same in the coming year.

The Governor’s Task Force on Hate Crimes suggests that the most effective bully-prevention programs will involve the entire community.

TADS stands ready to partner with the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District, or any other area school district, to participate in programs for bully prevention, depression awareness, and suicide prevention.

STEVE BOCZENOWSKI

Groton

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