Vines works to end bullying in schools
By DALE BRAKHAGE / Community Columnist
What do you do after working 20 years as an educator? Most people would retire, but not Larry Vines.
His dedication to education inspired him to work 29 more years, and it’s good that he did.
Vines, who works at Oak Mountain Middle School, just wrote and published his first book entitled, “Stop Bullying: a Step-By-Step Process to End Bullying in Schools.”
In his 49-year career, Vines observed thousands of middle school and high school students. He saw practically every student situation imaginable as principal of Minor High School and three other public high schools.
In recent years, however, working as a mediator and conflict resolution specialist, he noticed something. “More students reported being bullied, and not just in school but on Internet social media and cellular phones,“ Vines said. “Bullying behavior was increasing, and I observed it affected students differently. Some students shrugged it off, but others no longer wanted to attend school. One student told me that she wanted to kill herself. Something had to be done about this growing problem.”
Vines developed his process that stops bullying 90 percent of the time, he said. He is passionate about sharing this process with other schools and educators. He could have retired years ago, but he keeps working. This year, he will be presenting on television and radio programs and in workshops and seminars to communicate with other dedicated educators. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vines also displays a passion for another type of communication, amateur radio. As call sign NX4S, he holds an Amateur Extra Class license. That is the highest-level license granted by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). He and other amateur radio operators around the world stay trained, ready to keep accurate communications flowing in times of disaster.
For years, he participated in emergency communications planning and exercises on the local, state and national level. Later, he began planning and then leading those exercises for the Department of Defense and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
That is wonderful work from someone who could have retired 29 years ago.
Dale Brakhage writes a weekly column about Indian Springs and its residents. You can reach him at email@example.com.