Dougherty Co. Schools and United Way bring awareness to National Bullying Prevention Month

Dougherty Co. Schools and United Way bring awareness to National Bullying Prevention Month
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 3:16 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2022 at 7:47 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - 30% of youth in the United States are either bullies, victims of bullying, or both, according to the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. Here in Albany, the Dougherty County School System is working to combat this.

Kindness, inclusion, acceptance, and unity is this year’s theme for National Bullying Prevention Month. Dougherty County School System wants parents and students to know that tackling bullying is one of their priorities.

“Bullying happens more than we know within our schools, within our communities and we just want to come together and bring awareness to the topic.” DCSS Assistant Project Manager, Taylor Austin said.

Sometimes the harmless jokes kids make about each other can hurt more than we think. Bullying is a topic that has been talked about for years and it happens in almost every school, which is why Dougherty County School System is partnering with the United Way to shed light on the month.

“Dougherty County School System does have an anonymous reporting system that’s located on our school webpage. So students or parents can submit any form of bullying that they see or hear about.” Austin said.

According to Austin and the United Way, teens and children who are bullied won’t report bullying incidents because they feel like people won’t understand what they’re going through. DCSS and the United Way want students to realize that they do not have to face it alone.

“We realize that kids feel disconnected, kids just want to talk to you, kids want to express. So usually what they do is talk to other children or talk to a trusted adult,” United Way “Stop the Violence” Project Manager, Clinton Johnson said.

Johnson hopes that this initiative for the month will fall on the right ears. And if someone out there is being bullied, there are resources available for them.

Experts say that it’s important to note that many cases often go unreported. That’s why raising awareness is key.