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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          April 18, 2012                   


Goodwin Says Bullying, Prescription Drug Abuse and Internet Abuse Continue to Pose Threats to Students

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. –U.S. Attorney R. Booth Goodwin II spoke today in front of 129 principals during the final session of the West Virginia Center for Professional Development’s (WVCPD) Principals’ Leadership Academy (PLA) for New Principals held at the Lakeview Conference Center in Morgantown, W.Va.  U.S. Attorney Goodwin’s speech highlighted several issues such as bullying, prescription drug abuse, and the misuse of technology as ongoing concerns among school-aged children.

“Educators are frequently the first line of defense when addressing these critical issues, and I commend the diligent work that they do each school day,” U.S. Attorney Goodwin said. “It is important for students and educators to understand that bullying affects more than just the victims. It is everyone’s problem.”

U.S. Attorney Goodwin’s address to Leadership Academy principals drew attention to some of the most common issues affecting student achievement and performance. Goodwin said school violence, bullying and social media misuses are often interconnected, so it is important for school personnel to take an in-depth look at those problems.

“It is imperative that we work together to find solutions to these particular problems, which can prevent young people from reaching their full potential,” U.S. Attorney Goodwin said.  “Acts of bullying, whether committed face-to-face or through the use of social media, are a pervasive disruption.  We have to strengthen our collective efforts to put an end to this behavior.” 

Goodwin continued, “In some instances, we have seen how bullying begins as a minor intrusion in a child’s life, then as it becomes more frequent, snowballs into acts of violence.  Taking a more proactive stance, along with getting more students to understand the importance of speaking out against this type of behavior, is vital.” 

“We are pleased that U.S. Attorney Goodwin has agreed to share this critical information with new administrators. I am sure this session will be beneficial to our principals,” said Emily Papadopoulos, director of principal programs for the Center for Professional Development. “The U.S. Attorney has shown that his office is extremely supportive of issues facing children, schools and communities,” she said.

PLA for New Principals is a state-mandated, year-long professional development experience for West Virginia’s new principals and assistant principals. The Academy meets for two-day sessions three times during the school year.  Working in a team environment, team leaders facilitate activities that are designed to strengthen administrative skills and instructional leadership abilities. The final session at Lakeview also serves as the graduation from the Academy for the 129 administrators who have participated in the Academy this school year.

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