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Teen Summit Focuses On Bullying

Courtesy Mandy Drewry, Director, Coordinated School Health
Posted 11/27/19

HUNTINGDON (November 13) — Carroll County Coordinated School Health hosted its eleventh annual Teen Summit on Wednesday at the Carroll County Civic Center for approximately 350 freshmen from …

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Teen Summit Focuses On Bullying

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HUNTINGDON (November 13) — Carroll County Coordinated School Health hosted its eleventh annual Teen Summit on Wednesday at the Carroll County Civic Center for approximately 350 freshmen from all five special school districts. This year’s goal was to change school climate.

Coordinated School Health raised money for the event. They thank the following sponsors for making this event possible: Apex Bank, Baptist Memorial Hospital, Bill’s Flowers & Gifts, One Chiropractic, Life Care Center of Bruceton, Huntingdon Termite & Pest Control, McKenzie Banking Company, Nicky Joe Stafford Real Estate, McKenzie Medical Center, Huntingdon Lions Club, G & C Supply Co, Inc., Taylor Real Estate & Auction, Watson Lumber Company, Carroll Bank & Trust and Centennial Bank. CSH also thanks superintendents, principals, bus drivers and school cafeteria staff for supporting the event.

The speakers this year were from STARS of Nashville. STARS is a nonprofit organization that supports young people through the social and emotional barriers they face every day. The goal of this anti-bullying program is to increase school attendance and improve grades, change school climate in a positive manner, boost individual resilience and reduce school suspension, bullying, violence, delinquency, and substance abuse.

The presenters conducted a program called “Move 2 Stand,” which explains the who, what, when, where and why of bullying.

One part of the program is the bullying circle. This is where students re-enact a bullying incident. The roles include the bully, bystander, victim, followers of the bully, supporters, onlookers and defenders. Each person plays a role in how the bully is treated.

A portion of the program called “Cross the Line” is a series of questions used to create empathy for others. For example, “If you don’t like the way you look and feel physically unattractive, please cross the line.” Many of these questions can be very personal and emotional.

Students were provided support from school counselors, coaches, teaching staff, Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, Youth Villages and Carey Counseling. Other agencies who were there to support this event were the Carroll County Health Department, Carroll County Sheriff’s Department, Becky Keith and Huntingdon Public Safety Director Walter Smothers.

Lastly, students reflected on how to make changes individually and school-wide. Students were asked questions to help them understand why bullying takes place and what they can do to stop it. Leaders can stand up for the victim and make change. Also, students focused on how they treat peers as well as teachers.

The students left with a new perspective on how to change the climates in their schools. They also reflected on individual change and how to build resilience in themselves and trust that it can happen.

It is only takes one person to make a difference in someone’s life.

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