The workshop is at 6 p.m. in the Sylacauga High School auditorium and is open to the public.
The presentation will focus on cyber bullying, harassment and trends in youth suicide. Coles will offer strategies to help parents empower children faced with these issues.
“Things have changed so much, and we can’t assume everyone reacts the same way we do in certain situations,” Coles said. “Some people are really hurt by words while others aren’t, just like some are hurt by being left out when others aren’t.”
Student services coordinator Kelly Hubbard said Coles’ common sense approach makes his strategies effective.
“We truly hope parents and community members will take advantage of this opportunity to hear his strategies,” Hubbard said. “He has a unique way of relating to everyone, and we’re excited to have him again.”
Coles, who speaks at organizations around the country, visited students at city schools last spring.
“I can tell you from personal experience that he is a wonderful speaker, and our students and staff have been very receptive to his presentations in the past,” Hubbard said.
Coles said raising awareness and implementing new strategies is necessary to stop bullying.
“Sylacauga is doing a great job in continuing to raise awareness, and this visit, I want to share even newer ideas to make a difference in how students react and handle these issues,” Coles said.
Hubbard said an in-house survey by the School System showed students, especially girls, are dealing with an increased amount of cyber bullying.
“The student generation is so technology oriented; it’s how they communicate with each other now,” Hubbard said. “We need to shift their approach and teach them to be responsible with it and also make parents aware of how to handle it.”
Coles’ strategy for knocking out bulling is based on the three R’s: Recognize, Respond and Respect.
Hubbard said this method is effective for students of all ages, as well as teachers and administrators.
“Our administration respects him, and the students respond to him because he talks to them, not at them or above them,” Hubbard said. “We feel extremely fortunate to have him return to work with our students and staff.”
Coles has been in education for 35 years, working as a teacher, counselor, coach, athletic director and administrator. He gives staff, student, motivational and leadership workshops.
Coles will return Jan. 4 to work with school bus drivers and middle and high school student leadership, teaching them strategies to promote a positive school environment.