Parents address bullying in Laurens County
Dozens of people started their Saturday morning at a town hall meeting at Theatre Dublin.
The meeting was put together by members of the community after parents voiced their concerns on social media about bullying in Laurens County schools.
Dara Woods is a 17-year-old student who said that bullying started a few years ago. She says her bully would hit and push her around. During the meeting, she shared her story.
“You could tell what locker was mine because it didn't have the same color blue as everyone else,” said Woods. “It had been painted over three times hiding the words: emo, [and] drink bleach and die."
Raw video: Dara Woods, student
Jennifer Woods is Dara's mother. She came to Saturday’s town hall hoping school officials will make a positive change in the bullying arena.
“When they address the policy and procedures, they don't tell us that we're going to do something. They take a note that someone says this happens and this is as far as it goes,” said Jennifer Woods.
Parents like Mike Spivey, Jody Coleman, and Stacey Brooks spoke about the difficulties of having to deal with bullying in Laurens County schools.
Event coordinator Stacey Brooks says that now that they know about the problem, it’s time to do something about it.
“I said it to the parents here. I said it to the officials -- we have all failed our children, but we have got to start somewhere, and it's got to be somewhere positive. We didn't just come with complaints. We came with some solutions,” said Brooks.
Raw video: Stacey Brooks, coordinated town hall meeting
Sheriff Larry Dean spoke about bullying and advised that he can help if a law is broken.
“If the state law has been broken, we’ll do what we can to prosecute somebody if you’re child has been bullied,” said Dean.
Raw video: Laurens Co. Sheriff Larry Dean on bullying
The group addressed ways to prevent bullying in schools like support groups and parents knowing what your child is doing and having more resource officers at schools.
Kim Cook talked about another solution— an app called BullyBox.
“It allows students to safely and anonymously reports acts of bullying and other school safety concerns,” said Cook.
It could be the first step in overcoming an ongoing problem. A problem superintendent Juli Alligood hopes can soon be resolved.
“I do believe that we have to help the children who are being bullied and the ones who are the bullies because I think that that is how we're going to build a stronger community,” said Alligood.
Raw video: Juli Alligood, Laurens Co. superintendent