Coffee schools tackle bullying - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Coffee schools tackle bullying

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Phil Dockery of the Coffee School System Phil Dockery of the Coffee School System
. Pam Smith is a counselor at Coffee County Career Academy . Pam Smith is a counselor at Coffee County Career Academy
Ty'quaveyon Vaughn says he's witnessed bullying Ty'quaveyon Vaughn says he's witnessed bullying
DOUGLAS, GA (WALB) -

The Coffee Co. School System is working with the community to crack down on bullying.  A Task force was formed two and half years ago and continues to evolve.     

The initiative encourages students to speak up if they're being bullied. 

Students in Coffee County don't have to report bullying only to their school administrators. They now have other resources that can help them tackle the issue thanks to the Coffee County Bullying Task Force.  

"The opportunity for every student in our schools to have an advocate. Someone that they can establish a relationship of trust with," said Phil Dockery of the Coffee School System.  

Churches, business leaders and volunteers make up the task force. Pam Smith is a counselor at Coffee County Career Academy and is one of those components.   "So if their needs are not being met, their safety needs, then their not going to learn at their best potential. I think that what we have to do is address and make sure they feel safe here," said Counselor Pam Smith.       

The Task force also addresses cyber bullying and is working to provide ways to report bullying anonymously. 14 year old Ty'quaveyon Vaughn says he's witnessed bullying before.   "It made me feel real bad, because people shouldn't pick on other folks just because the way they dress; the way they act."  

He says if he were ever in that situation he would confide in his favorite teacher.  "Janet Dyal, she's a very good teacher. She's one of my favorite teachers out here and I believe I can tell her anything or share with her anything about somebody or me getting bullied," Vaughn said.  

Dockery says part of keeping students safe is having an open line of communication.   "Communication is key and that's really where we hope to be as we continue our work," Dockery said.  

Middle and high school students will hear from a guest speaker next week about bullying.   The Task Force continues to work to develop new programs that will bring bullying to the forefront.

 

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