Author-educator to speak on raising ethical kids and preventing bullying

By Gini Davis

The Creswell Chronicle

Barbara Coloroso is an internationally recognized speaker and author on parenting, teaching, school discipline, nonviolent conflict resolution and reconciliatory justice. She serves as an educational consultant for school districts, the medical and business communities, the criminal justice system and other educational associations.

She’s been a classroom teacher, laboratory school instructor and university instructor, and has authored five international bestsellers.

Next week, Coloroso brings to Creswell her message that “kids are worth it” and her positive approach to dealing with bullying.

From 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, Coloroso will present an open community lecture entitled “Just Because It’s Not Wrong Doesn’t Make It Right: Teaching Kids to Think and Act Ethically” in the Creswell Middle School library.

Her visit results from a partnership between Lonn Robertson Family Dentistry, retired Creslane Elementary teacher Lynn Robertson and Creswell School District.

Coloroso “has been lecturing on raising and teaching children for well over three decades; she is one of Lynn’s and my heroes and was somebody we read when we were raising our own kids,” Lonn Robertson said. “The (community) lecture will be a fabulous and engaging evening for parents and grandparents and educators of kids of all ages.”

On Friday, Oct. 13, Coloroso will conduct an inservice for CSD staff, entitled “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Not-So-Innocent Bystander.”

“Lonn and I met about a year ago to discuss the general nature of discourse happening around us,” CSD Superintendent Todd Hamilton said. “The elections were still fresh in our minds, and local and national topics were impacting the mood of students and staff. Many were expressing concerns about how we treat each other, and staff were asking for more guidance on how to effectively support each other – and more importantly, our students.

“During the conversation, Lonn shared Ms. Coloroso’s work with me, and her perspectives provided a different way to look at our problems and identify solutions.”

Robertson said he and his wife, Lynn contacted Coloroso because of their enthusiasm for raising self-aware, ethical children, and equipping kids and adults to help prevent and to respond appropriately to bullying, whether in schools or online, whether by students or adults.

Robertson said he was motivated to invite Coloroso to Creswell by his increased awareness of “adult bullying,” while Lynn, as a retired teacher, was moved by her continuing “love for the Creswell School District and the kids.”

He contacted CSD Superintendent Todd Hamilton, and a partnership was born. “Todd was very enthusiastic; he contacted the school administrators, who were equally excited, so they put it on the schedule for an all-day inservice day so all staff could attend,” Robertson said.

“We are fortunate to have so many caring and compassionate staff in our district who are constantly looking for new and better ways to prepare our students for success,” Hamilton said. “We’ve learned a lot from our partners at the University of Oregon and other local experts over the years. As an organization that focuses on continual improvement, we know we have more to learn about treating our students with dignity and respect, and helping them understand empathy and compassion. We’re excited to hear Ms. Coloroso’s perspectives and learn new strategies.”

To learn more about Coloroso’s books, lectures and other positive parenting-related materials, visit her website: http://www.kidsareworthit.com.

“We are thrilled to be able to partner with CSD to bring this tremendous speaker to Creswell,” Robertson said, “and we are very proud of the school district’s desire to be a part of this opportunity.”