‘Bully Proof’ events aim to educate

Published 11:51 pm Friday, October 18, 2013

Bullying and teen suicide are real issues, even in Pike County.

That’s why the East Central Children’s Health Collaborative has partnered with Troy City Schools, Pike County Schools and Troy University to offer “Bully Proof” community events in connection with Bullying Awareness Month.

“We need education for the community,” said Charlotte Watkins, Children’s Program Coordinator for East Central Mental Health. “We talked to administrators and decided we would all go in together to make this happen.”

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A special town hall meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday in Hawkins Hall Room 122 where community leaders, mental health experts and school officials will discuss the issues of bullying, cyber bullying and teen suicide. The presenters will take questions from community members and receive their input and feedback for use in developing solutions that can be implemented in Pike County.

“Right now, bullying is such a hot topic because it is easy access for those who are doing it and there aren’t many repercussions, either,” Watkins explained. “Parents need to be aware of the facts, the signs and what they can do.”

Watkins also said she hoped the event provides encouragement to children being bullied and perhaps even lets bullies know how much they affect other people. Following the session, a candlelight vigil will be held to memorialize those who have taken their own lives due to bullying.

On Saturday, Oct. 26, a 5K run/walk is planned. The event will help raise money to support Troy City and Pike County Schools purchase a bullying and cyber bullying curriculum. Interested participants may register online at bullyproof5k.eventbrite.com.