Batting Bullying: Bowling Green High School Student Forum

By Melissa Warren | 

This week at Bowling Green High School was about being bigger than bullying, and that being a bully doesn't make you a better person.

"If they were the bigger person, they wouldn't be bullying in the first place," said BGHS student Blerta Edemi.

The forum host discovered students don't even realize when they are bullying sometimes, so they saw this discussion as a way to reach out.

"Students didn't necessarily think gossip was bullying, or that talking about someone in the hallway was bullying, so we wanted to find a way to bring students together to talk about bullying issues," said Creative Kentucky's Drew Mitchell.

One panel member said sometimes it's silence or laughing in support of a bully that can be just as harmful.

"Sometimes you get caught up in that and you don't realize how you're becoming a part of the cycle even though you may not be that active bully," said Kentucky Dept. of Education Director of Student Success Toyah Robey.

Even the law takes a stand on bullying in schools, and the consequences are real, even for minors.

"It could be anything from community service, to time in the juvenile detention center, to really the limits of the judges imagination," said BGPD Captain Brian Harrell.

One student reminds us legal consequences aren't the only ones, it's the mark you leave on a person that you will have to live with forever.

"Maybe if they got bullied and they knew how it felt, they wouldn't bully as much," said BGHS student Kyle Popelier.

That's a feeling the panel says no one should have to feel, especially at school.

Today's forum wrapped up a week's worth of activities with Creative Kentucky to promote anti-bullying efforts in the school. It followed other events like a parent forum, and the painting of an anti-bullying mural that was unveiled during today's forum.

The panel of speakers included the Kentucky Department of Education Director of Division of Student Success Toyah Robey, Bowling Green Police Captain Brian Harrell, BGHS Guidance Counselor Leah Krisher, and SkyPAC Youth Educator Brandon Bradshaw. Each had a message for the students, whether it be bullying's effects on others, the consequences, or how they could help those being bullied.

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