Dougherty Schools battle bullies - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Schools battle bullies

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB)   --  Administrators say bullying won't be tolerated in the Dougherty County School System, and now teachers are being taught how to deal with the problem.

A mandatory system wide bullying prevention seminar was held Thursday for teachers. Officials say school police, Albany police, teachers, students, and parents must work together to stop bullying.

The schools purchased 18,000 books in both English and Spanish that explain how to talk to kids about bullying and how to deal with the new form of bullying online and through texting.

If you think bullying isn't a problem in Dougherty County schools just listen to students.

 "When I was young I was more of a victim of physical and mental bullying, but when I got to high school it kind of downgraded to mostly verbal," said Westover Senior David Lawrence.

This school year it's been deadly serious, just not in Dougherty County.

"She felt like she was getting bullied like really bad and she never talked about it or said anything about it but she dropped out and went to another school," said Westover Junior Mary Mills.

That's why Dougherty's holding mandatory training, teaching everyone from teachers to janitors how to handle bullying. From teasing to cyber bullying students try to destroy each other.

"Usually it's about destroying character when you go on line and you're saying something derogatory about a person that you may or may not know it's not necessarily about beating them up physically, but you're saying something derogatory to hurt them," said DCSS Special Services Barbara Turner.

At Westover, The Teen Age Support Council Organization or TASCO helps students to help peers talk about their situations and how to get help.

"We talk about things that are happening to them things that are happening in the country and sometimes we have role playing so if that happens here what should we do," said TASCO Supervisor Shirley Paramore.

Students say a bullying box has also helped. "We have a bully box in the media center where people can leave anonymous notes for people who are being bullied and stuff," said  Westover High Junior Elizabeth Mills.

"You have to learn how to brush things off and come to that old saying, stick and stone will break your bones but word swill never hurt you," said Westover High Sophomore Crystal Gervin.

Through TASCO and teacher training, school officials hope to get a handle on bullying, ultimately stopping the violence.

The Dougherty County School System has an agreement with a local counseling service that works with students if an issue like severe bullying is identified.

Dougherty Schools are also planning training for more students and parents along with the community. Teachers and staff attending today's training will take the information they received back to their schools to share with the rest of the staff.

  • Click HERE to visit the government's website against bullying.

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