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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Walter Roberts honored for anti-bullying advocacy

Prof. Walter Roberts named 'Outstanding Educator' by state group.

By Amanda Dyslin, Free Press Staff Writer [published in The Free Press, Mankato, MN, 1/13/2012]

When you spend a career focused on bullying and seeing its devastating effects on young people, it can be frustrating.

“I’ve often asked myself, ‘Is anybody really listening? Does anybody really care?’” said Walter Roberts Jr., a professor of counselor education at Minnesota State Mankato. “And I think the answer is, yes, people are listening more than they ever have, and, yes, people do care.”

One organization that certainly does care — not only about bullying, but about Roberts’ hand in combating it — is the Twin Cities chapter of PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people. The organization has given Roberts the Outstanding Educator Award, citing him as a pioneer in bullying prevention, to be presented at a conference Jan. 20.

From a PFLAG release about the award: “Long before others were talking about the seriousness of bullying in schools, Roberts was in the field addressing the issue. His research, consulting and advocacy have had a profound impact on bringing national visibility to bullying.”

Raised in the South during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Roberts said he’s seen firsthand what bias, prejudice and discrimination does to people. It’s been his life’s work to fight against it, and it means a lot that PFLAG has recognized his work.

He has extensive public policy experience in mental health and school safety issues, and he’s a published author, including the best-seller “Bullying from Both Sides.”

He consults nationwide with teachers, administrators, mental health professionals, parents and communities about bullying. And his primary research has been in violence reduction in school settings.

“A tireless advocate for children, Roberts testifies regularly before local, state and national legislative bodies in support of policies and laws that will increase school safety,” the release stated.

For the complete Free Press story, see the print edition, or go to

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