Dozens of Williamson County parents, students and staff members gathered in Franklin March 14 to hear from a panel of experts on the topic of bullying.
The event called Bullying: What it is and What it isn’t was co-sponsored by Williamson County Schools and the Franklin Special School District and featured the following panelists: Dennis Fetting from the Department of Homeland Security, STARS CEO Roger Dinwiddie, Summit High School Principal Dr. Sarah Lamb and Poplar Grove Middle School Principal Chris Treadway.
The goal of this meeting was to start a discussion about bullying and how it is dealt with in schools. In addition to defining bullying, the panelists discussed a number of topics including cyber-bullying, social media and the ways in which schools and parents can help a child that is being bullied.
“My advice for parents is to make sure you have that relationship with someone in your child’s school,” Lamb told the crowd. “Let us know as soon as possible if you are aware of bullying behavior. Even if you think it’s very small because that can help us intervene much earlier and prevent something from happening that’s much larger and more detrimental to the student.”
According to surveys, Dinwiddie shared that students who are being bullied said the number one thing they want from adults is to listen and to not ignore what they are saying. He also reiterated that while it may seem that bullying behavior is on the rise, the majority of students are doing the right thing.
“I think we forget that the norm is that most young men and young women are trying to do decent things,” said Dinwiddie. “They don’t wake up every day thinking whose life can I make miserable today. They are trying to do the right thing, and I think sometimes we fail to acknowledge that the majority of young men and women try to do the right thing every day. That’s where the power is.”