Bullying prevention in Muscogee County

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - Monday and Tuesday, Muscogee County School District administrators and counselors went through a refresher course about bullying.

Prevention Specialist Marc Fomby is working with Muscogee County counselors and administrators to redefine bullying.

"Today even if I do not say something to your face, I have the means of getting my message across," explained Fomby.  Social media plays a huge role in bullying these days.

"We look at statistics and the numbers of suicides are on the rise, girls are more involved in violence than ever before, those are all indications we are missing something and we are trying to put the pieces together," said Fomby.

He believes it is important that everyone across the district buys in to bullying prevention.

Counselor at Columbus High, Trikella Nelson, said they even have custodial staff involved, "they are very aware of the bully policy, so they are out monitoring and can report if they have some suspicions."

There are changes coming to Muscogee County's bullying policy.  By August 1st, each school will be responsible for defining bullying and the acknowledging what they do step by step when it is reported and how they plan to follow up.

During the first and second report, the school system says students are educated about bullying and counselors try to get to the bottom of why it is happening.  "Our goal is to make sure they are educated on why it is important not to bully and not just hammer them the very first time. A lot of times we find out if you give them a punitive the first time, it is not like they learn anything," said Nelson.

Students are sent to a tribunal after the third definite case of bullying.  It does not matter if the bullying is verbal or physical, or the age or gender of the students involved.  Each case reported is investigated by someone in the specific school.

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