Growing up is supposed to be fun and carefree, but for some it can be tough, especially if they are getting bullied.
“He had a bubble jacket, and he was being teased about it,” Sandra Miller said. “It kind of made him not want to wear the jacket. It was an everyday thing; calling him fat.”
Miller says her grandson’s only in elementary school, but it left an impression on him.
“His mother talked to the teacher,” Miller said. “She took care of the problem, and [he] really didn’t complain much after that.”
That’s what the Bibb County School district hopes happens when they intervene.
The district is holding a bullying summit, where parents will get to share their ideas on how to tackle bullying.
Burdell-Hunt Elementary principal Tanya Allen says the biggest problem is when students are online and away from campus.
“I think that’s what’s going on in society,” Allen said. “It’s easy to say something mean and hurtful to somebody because you’re not facing them. One on one it’s kind of hard to look at someone and be ugly to them.”
Last school year. the district handled close to 600 bullying cases. That number is down to about 140 so far.
Allen attributes that decrease to character education, and rewarding positive behavior. She says bullying someone is often a cry for help.
“This may be a byproduct of some other emotion that’s going on,” Allen said. “Oftentimes we use our guidance counselors, we pair students up with a buddy teacher, who they can check in and out with. Those little check-ins are where they feel somebody is listening to me.”
Miller thinks those interventions might do the job.
“I think it takes discipline, and it calls for the parents and teachers to work together,” Miller said.
The district is hosting the anti-bullying summit at Central High School on February 27 at 6 p.m.