Robynn Leidig on Wednesday stood in front of a classroom of seventh-graders at Toll Middle School as their raised hands began to paint an all too common picture of verbal, cyber, emotional and sexual bullying.
Leidig, a health educator with Planned Parenthood, then began outlining ways to appropriately respond, including notifying a trusted adult.
"I think it is good that teachers come to say, 'It is OK, we are with you, don't be afraid,'" said Toll seventh grader Dianna Sukiasyan, 12.
The lesson, which was taking place in several classrooms throughout the school, also served as a training opportunity for school officials and community leaders on how to recognize and react to antagonistic behavior.
It was the culmination of a three-day anti-bullying program, spearheaded by Bully Me Not, a community organization established last year to address bullying. Thirty-one teachers, counselors and community members received training from SuEllen Fried, a nationally recognized bullying expert, skills they put to the test at Toll on Wednesday.