Series of events seek to help ‘bully proof’ community

Published 3:00 am Thursday, October 2, 2014

By Ngoc Vo

Several local agencies are working together to help students be “Bully-proof” through a series of activities and informational events this month.

Troy University Counseling Department initiated Bully-proof 2014 in partnership with East Central Mental Health, Troy University’s Civic Engagement Department, Pike County Schools and Troy City Schools to combat bullying.

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Jonathan Cellon, coordinator of learning initiatives, said during October there will be a series of events focusing on bullying awareness and bullying prevention.

On Oct. 6, a “ Suicide Prevention: What Parents Need to Know” talk will be held at 7 p.m. in Troy University Hawkins Hall Room 122.

On Oct. 18, a 5K and a kid’s fun run will be held on the Square. The 5K begins at 8 a.m. and the fun run is at 9:15 a.m.

There will also be live music, exhibitors and a book read-along for children.

On Oct. 21, “Cyberbullying: What Parents Need to Know and How They Can Support Their Students” will be held at 7 p.m. in Troy Hawkins Hall Room 122.

On Oct. 23, a Town Hall Meeting and Candle Light Vigil will be held at 7 p.m. An expert panel consisting of administrators, educators, school and clinical mental health counselors and professors will discuss topics of bullying, cyberbullying, the psychological effects of bullying and victimization.

According to Kimbrlei McCain from Troy University Counseling Department, all the proceeds of the 5k and fun run will go toward the anti-bullying curriculum and personnel to implement anti-bullying programs in Pike County and Troy City Schools

The runs are held in partner with Troy University’s Big Read, which is accepting book donations for Boys and Girls club, Christian Love Center and an after-school program at Goshen Elementary School.

Participants can register for the run at

“We are putting this event together to raise awareness and raise funds on a matter that affects a lot of students in Pike County,” McCain said. “We are hoping to stop bullying through these efforts.”

According to McCain, bullying can lead to mental health issues, drug use, drop-out, school violence , suicide, among many other issues. McCain and Troy University Counseling Department went to Pike County High School, CHHS, Goshen High School and middle school and Banks Elementary School to talk to the students about bullying and the effects bullying can have.

McCain said at every school they went to there were students telling them bullying is a problem at the school and asking about what they can do prevent it.

“We witnessed bullying in fights that broke out when we were there and kids being picked on in class,” McCain said. “This is a really apparent issue.”

“I think if the events are a success, the children in our county will benefit from it.

“If people show up, children will see that they are supported by the community and that efforts are being made so that they can go to school without being scared or fearful that somebody is going to hurt them.”

McCain said the organizers are hopeful that with support from the community, they can keep the children in our communities safe.