“When they were in (another city), my boy cried and said that one of the kids took his juice away from him,” Beltran said.
She requested a transfer to the El Centro Elementary School District and said that since then everything has been running smoothly.
Beltran wanted to come to the Anti-bullying Student Conference at Sunflower Elementary School because she likes the effort that the school is doing to get more parental involvement during Public Schools Week.
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It was the first anti-bullying conference at Sunflower. Teacher and conference coordinator Marilyn McAlister said that organizers are hoping to turn it into an annual activity.
“Our job is to educate and to keep our students safe,” McAlister said.
The presenters of the conference included psychologists, police officers, Border Patrol agents, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and FBI agents.
Besides presentations, the students had some arts and crafts activities to create awareness about bullying.
All the presenters had the same message, but they are approaching it from different angles, McAlister said.
One of the highlights of the conference was a presentation on cyber-bullying. School psychologist Jesus O. Preciado was in charge of talking to the children about bullying through electronic devices.
Preciado said he wants to encourage children to ask their parents questions about online safety. If parents are buying electronic devices for their children they need to be responsible and learn about the risks, he said.
“My fear is that the children know more about technology than their parents,” Preciado said.
He talked to the children about social-networking Web sites and how they need to protect their privacy.
Border Patrol agents gave a presentation on the basic information about bullying and being respectful to others, Agent Jores Peters said.
The agents prepared skits for the children for role-playing.
“I think this is such a phenomenal program,” Peters said.
Each class would spend 20 minutes with each presenter and then they would go to another class. The children in upper classes saw a total of seven presenters.
Maria Beltran followed the classes of two of her children who attend Sunflower. She said that parents always worry about bullies when their children are at school. She said she is grateful that the schools have these kinds of activities.
“This is making them (the children) think different,” Beltran said.
Multimedia Producer Laura Gonzalez can be reached at 760-337-3440 or firstname.lastname@example.org