SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- In today's society there is an enormous amount of pressure on our kids to succeed, be more mature and responsible, be athletic, and be great big brothers and sisters -- to be awesome helpers around the house.

What we are failing to realize is that our kids are facing an ever-growing threat to achieving the goals we have for them, and the goals they have set for themselves.

Bullies of today are taking the most intimate pieces of our kids' lives and using that information against them.

In an era when the Internet and cell phones have made information so readily available, these new technologies also can be used to cause pain and discomfort more easily.

The cyberbullying chart illustrates an alarming trend. Without steps to discourage cyberbullying, the issue may explode out of control.

The upcoming Army Community Service's Family Advocacy Program "Discovery Summit" will spotlight the growing need for bully-free environments.

The summit aims to ensure children are prepared to react when they see a bullying situation unfolding. Discovery Summit will provide kids ages 8-11 years old the opportunity to talk in an open forum, to listen, to share and to be able to formulate plans of their own to encourage bully-free zones this coming school year.

We want our kids to be encouraged, empowered and empathetic, encouraged to do the right thing, empowered to make a difference and to show empathy toward someone they may encounter who has been bullied.

• Discovery Summit
Workshop times and locations follow:
10 a.m.-noon, July 21, ACS Training Center, Schofield Barracks;
1-3 p.m., July 26, Schofield Barracks Main Chapel, Classroom D-9; or
1-3 p.m., July 27, ACS Aloha Center, Bldg. 330, Fort Shafter.
Register at (808) 655-4227.

(Editor's Note: Weber is an ACS Family Advocacy Program prevention and education educator.)

Page last updated Thu July 19th, 2012 at 00:00