This week, Hebron Academy welcomed Steve Wessler, a human rights educator, who specializes in conflict resolution. Mr. Wessler led student workshops on the impact of language, hate speech, and bullying. Mr. Wessler helped our students understand how easy it is for incidents of teasing and joking to quickly escalate to more hurtful and harmful verbal attacks, and sometimes even to physical violence. He encouraged our community to speak up and be supportive whenever they witness a friend, or any vulnerable individual, being unfairly targeted. Mr. Wessler encouraged students to find an adult if confronting the teaser or assailant placed them at risk. Steve Wessler said he was "very impressed with the high level of awareness these students showed on this important topic."
Mr. Steve Wessler works with schools, colleges, non-profit organizations, healthcare institutions, law enforcement agencies, and communities to prevent bias, harassment discrimination, and violence. Mr. Wessler has presented 100s of workshops, keynote addresses, and presentations across the United States, Europe and the MIddle East. Mr. Wessler created the Civil Rights Unit in the Maine Attorney General’s Office. In 1999 he founded the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence and served as its director for 12 years. He is the author of The Respectful School and a number of articles, reports, and other publications focusing on hate crimes and prevention. Mr. Wessler is a graduate of Harvard College and Boston University Law School.