It was encouraging to read a report last week on the effort by Camden Hills Regional High School students and staff to reduce bullying in schools by holding an informative "No Name-Calling Week."

Over the years it has been proven that school officials, teachers and students can work together to create a positive culture where bullying is not tolerated. We have seen increased acceptance of diversity of race, religion, socioeconomic background and sexual orientation in both our society and schools in the past 30 years, but the work is far from over.

Events like this serve as an important reminder that no one should feel afraid to come to school or work and no one should be subjected to name-calling and emotional abuse.

Social media makes it possible for individuals to bully people online, and in some cases that can be devastating. Unlike the days of the past when students could escape name-calling when they went home, it can continue 24 hours a day, seven days a week online.

Education and discussion of the topic, and a clear statement of the school's and the community's values are powerful tools against bullying. Student groups including the Civil Rights Team, the Gay Straight Transgender Alliance and the International Club are leading by example in this community.

We hope other schools will follow the example being set at Camden Hills.

Businesses should get involved in bag discussion

The Camden Select Board and the business community have an opportunity to strike a balance between protecting the environment and supporting local businesses as they ponder an ordinance to require fees for single-use paper and plastic shopping bags.

Plastic bags have been proven to have serious environmental consequences, including a continent of plastic that has formed in the Pacific, litter on our roads and, perhaps the most insidious, the tiny fragments of plastic bags that exist in massive quantities in seawater. The creatures we share this planet with eat these plastic bags and fragments and suffer as a result. Eventually, this pollution will endanger humans as well as fish, turtles and birds.

On the flip side, some other decent points were raised at a recent meeting. Uncle Willy's Candy Shoppe uses recyclable materials in their specialized paper bags. This also raises questions about which businesses we are targeting. Does it make sense to ask customers to bring their own bags to sandwich shops and pizza places, or should this be focused more on larger stores?

Board member Alison McKellar raised some valid questions about reusable grocery bags, most often made in China, that are not recyclable. Each bag has to be used 150 times to offset the environmental impact of making it. There may be an opportunity here for someone to start a business creating these bags locally from recycled, environmentally friendly materials.

Business leaders need to be active and contact their select board members to talk about this. It would also be a good idea for any business owners who use these bags to attend the meetings and take part in the discussion.

Ultimately, the select board can iron out an ordinance that reduces use of these bags and works for businesses as well. Since this is a regional issue being discussed in Rockland as well, perhaps this effort can be coordinated with other communities.

Town government at its best

Last week we wrote in support of police and firefighters carrying and using Narcan to help those suffering from overdoses.

We also reported last week that a Camden Police officer used Narcan to help save a life just one week after the department received training to administer the drug.

The idea started when a town resident asked Select Board member Jenna Lookner about it. Lookner took that question to Town Manager Audra Caler-Bell and from there it went to the police and fire departments.

This is exactly how local government is supposed to function, with residents being able to bring their concerns to their select board and, in a short period of time, see real results.

In this case, a simple suggestion led to life-saving action.