The DuPage County Anti-Bullying Task Force was convened in June 2010 under the leadership of DuPage Regional Superintendent of Schools Dr. Darlene Ruscitti and DuPage State’s Attorney Joseph Birkett who co-chaired of the committee. Former Attorney General Jim Ryan, who centered much of his work on school safety, served as Honorary Chair. Members Dr. Bennett Leventhal of the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and Dr. Weissberg, Professor of Psychology and Education and Director of the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Research Group at the University of Illinois at Chicago, lent great credibility and a strong research base to the work of the Task Force. Anna Weselak, past president of the National Parent Teacher Association, representatives from legal firms that represent our school districts, DuPage superintendents, school board members, principals, parents and others were also involved.

The efforts of the Task Force are part of a larger initiative of Building a More Civil Society. Each school in the county has named a point person who will be trained to use the resources developed by the Task Force and who will provide best practices to the county-wide group. Their on-going work will include developing a three-year plan to continue to combat bullying and provide for the social and emotional development of all students.

The work of this group illustrates the best in community education bringing all partners to the table to do what’s best for kids today and into the future.