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Shelby Schools, Foundation, and GOLD team to combat bullying

Aug 28, 2017, 12:21:07

It’s no secret that bullying is a national issue; the “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” mentality is no longer effective to combat bullying in today’s society.

So, the Shelby City School District is intent on being proactive to curb bullying in its school system by providing students and staff with the necessary tools to navigate the issue.

To that end, Girls Owning Lives of Dignity (GOLD), a group for the empowerment of young women, has decided to start this year off on the right foot by taking a proactive stance against bullying. Fortunately, GOLD isn’t acting alone; The Women’s Fund of The Shelby Foundation is supporting GOLD’s anti-bullying campaign.

“The Women’s Fund is about promoting self-confidence and self-respect and harassment has no place for the ideals we are trying to instill," said Carrie Kemerer, foundation director. "GOLD and Shelby School District have our support in making the school an environment for learning, not fear.”

Shelby superintendent Tim Tarvin said the district is working diligently on the problem.

“Every student should feel safe, especially on school grounds; bullying will not be tolerated and we are kicking off the school year with this assembly to remind students about respecting themselves and their fellow classmates,” he said.

A specialist is being called upon as part of the effort.

"The Women’s Fund, GOLD, and schools have combined forces to bring in child and adolescent therapist Jim Bisenius who developed the program 'Bullet-Proofing Youth,' " Kemerer stated, “We’re excited to invite Mr. Bisenius into the schools because he’s not just going to tell students ‘Don’t be mean. Don’t bully,’ but provide students and staff the necessary tools to combat bullying in everyday situations.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 6, Bisenius will provide a 90-minute presentation to Shelby Middle School in the morning, a roundtable discussion among district administration at lunch, and a second presentation to high school students in the afternoon.

The day will end with a professional development and training for district educators.

“I look forward to the start of every school year, and this year is no different, however, I’m encouraged by the level of support by the foundation and the efforts put in place by GOLD. Families choose our school district for many reasons, and having a safe, learning environment is one of them,” Tarvin said.