The meeting was called to order by President Elect Brad Kirscher on this 16th day of November, 2015.  
 
Jason Raether led the club in the Pledge of Allegiance after which we recited the Four Way Test. 
 
Hyon Kim gave the invocation. 
 
Ed Studniski introduced visitors and guests.  Today we had one visiting Rotarian, Sam Cave, and three guests:  Jon Roswick, Marilyn Rosene and Barbara Einen.  Welcome all.  
 
General club announcements and business followed:  
 
Today we auctioned off two autographed copies of Written on the Knee.  Proceeds were donated to PolioPlus.  Thank you to Hyon Kim and Mary Sommerfeld, our auction winners, for their winning bids of $45 and $55, respectively. 
 
With no other announcements Brad Kirscher introduced today’s speakers, Dan McNeil and Judy Larsen from PeaceMaker Minnesota, who spoke to us about the problem of bullying.  
 
 
     Judy Larsen, Dan McDeil, Brad Kirscher
 
 
 
Bullying, verbal abuse and physical violence are problems in every school – each day.  Bullying also affects everyone it touches:  the bully, the victim, the followers, the bystanders and the adults.  It adversely impacts learning, involvement in activities, school morale, etc.  How widespread is the problem?  Ms. Larsen reported to us that 1 in 7 students report being bullied at one point or another; of these only 20% tell an adult.  Further, 56% of students report witnessing some sore bullying.  Because of these issues thousands of students fear going to school each day but it doesn’t have to be that way… 
 
PeaceMaker Minnesota is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, formed in 1998 that works with schools in Minnesota to give them the tools they need to stop violence.  Their goal is to stop violence by helping schools prevent bullying and teach kids how to get along.  Their objective is to reduce the number of kids who report being bullied that do not feel safe at school.  Their strategy is to 1) work with schools committed to using the best practices in youth violence prevention, 2) to develop sustainable funding for their work so they can obtain the programming and training that they need and 3) celebrate successes so that other schools see how bullying can be reduced and a positive learning environment achieved.  By taking these actions their vision is for every school to be a safe place where students can learn and develop positive relational skills. 
 
PeaceMaker Minnesota was originally funded with just over $8,000 in contributions.  Since that time they have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of support and currently boast 23 partner schools.  As Mr. McNeil stated, bullies are like dandelions…if you do something about them your yard looks pretty nice but if you let them go you’ll have issues.  
 
If you are interested in learning more about PeaceMaker Minnesota or wish to donate to their cause, information can be found on their website:  www.peacemakermn.org.
 
With the presentation completed and no further business, the meeting was adjourned.   
 
 
Sponsors