Jackson State Community Colleges Community Education department will be host to a newly created Situational Options Series. The purpose of the series is to equip both victims and witnesses of bullying or harmful behavior with appropriate choices and ways to respond to those who either physically or emotionally threaten others. Located on JSCCs main campus, the event will be held in the McWherter Center Saturday, April 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event is open to the public, but it is designed primarily with middle school through high school students, their parents and educators in mind. It is noted that anyone interested in learning more about this topic is also encouraged to attend.
The first part of the series is entitled Tips and Tools for Managing Bullies. Several breakout sessions are planned which are designed for teens, parents and educators to help provide information about the different ways bullying is manifested and optimal ways to deal with the issue. Speakers for the sessions include professionals from counseling, juvenile justice, education, and others.
Event organizer Leah Gray, Director of Community Education, saw a need for this series and was compelled to make this available to the public. Everyone has seen and heard of various events at the national level where teens have been driven to suicide as a result of bullying, notes Gray, continuing, At the local level, we have been confronted with some of our own youth making these same decisions with disastrous results. As a parent of two young children myself, I could not, in good conscience, sit idly by and do nothing.
Gray mentioned that the series is based on making good or right choices. Growing up as a teen is a tough time in life, she notes, Peer pressure can lead to irrational decisions. The goal of the series is to give the victims of bullying tools to better cope with and respond to threatening behavior. At the same time, the series will help others identify this type of behavior as it is happening and give them appropriate ways to manage and possibly intercede on behalf of a victim.
As previously mentioned, this is the first in a series of events being planned. There are two camps planned for teens this summer. In the fall, there are sessions in the works for counselors, teachers and those in the field of juvenile justice.
Anyone interested in this first event on managing bullies should contact Leah Gray. The first 50 to pre-register will receive a free lunch. For more information, call 731-425-2627 or email Leah at firstname.lastname@example.org.