Jaimie Utt, a diversity and inclusion consultant, spoke to parents, students and community members early this week about how to be better people, how to embrace diversity and how to walk in others shoes before judging them.
"Students are tired of the way they treat each other and the irony is they have the power to change that," Utt told a group of parents on Monday.
Utt spent both Monday and Tuesday giving students in Dolores the power to treat each other better.
The Dolores High School Student Government felt so strongly about Utt's message that they raised $2,000 to bring him here.
Utt told students that they need to find ways to interrupt negative or hurtful behaviors and to reach out to others who may feel left out or hurt.
"Reach out to that person and make sure they know that they still have value," Utt said.
Utt also told the group of 30 parents that anyone can be a bully.
"I don't like labeling an individual someone as a bully, at any point of time someone can act as a bully," he said.
Bullies and bully behavior has been around since schools have been around, but today, with our technology, it is different.
"You can't get away from it," he said. "They talk about on Facebook and can talk about you on cell phones. They experience a 24-hour cycle of bullying."
Utt told personal stories about how he was bullied in school and even considered suicide.
"This helps them understand the impacts of bullying," he said.
Parents were allowed to sign "opt out" form if they did not want their children to see Utt. According to the school, a total of 26 students opted out at the middle and high schools.
Utt challenged parents to carry on the message and talk to their children.
"Students achieve at higher levels when they feel safe and they feel included," he said.
Courtesy photo/Kayla Garchar