Written by Jordan Purcell, Class of 2017, Arabia Mountain High School, 21CL Youth Leadership Center at AMHS President

Students of the AMHS 21CL Youth Leadership Center and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) hosted a bullying workshop and panel at Arabia Mountain High School on Wednesday, October 19, 2016.  A total of 30 students were in attendance for this evening workshop and panel discussion.

In the workshop, attendees were able to test their knowledge by taking a fact or fiction quiz about bullying. Then, students created a skit that stressed the importance of descriptive versus judgmental language. Finally, the workshop ended with a student-led discussion on reasons why teenagers do not speak up about bullying, and how we can break the silence.

On the panel, Dr. Quentin Fretwell, Ms. Chezney Woodfaulk, and Mr. Kenneth Lively  shared their knowledge about bullying and suicide and how we can help others. Dr. Quentin Fretwell, the safe schools coordinator for the DeKalb County School District, Ms. Chezney Woodfaulk, a suicide prevention worker at the National Guard, and Mr. Kenneth Lively a police officer at Clark Atlanta University all gave the students wonderful insight into this issue plaguing schools and how we, as student leaders can help.

I got to really know what bullying is, and it felt good to hear what people have to say about bullying.” – Elizabeth, Class of 2018, AHMS

Students asked for tips on what to do if they are being bullied and how they can be more involved in making their school a safe place for everyone. The main emphasis of the talk was that students have the power to be “UPstanders” instead of “bystanders” and play an essential role in the stand against bullying in their school and the community. The biggest take away from the event is knowing that there are professionals who are dedicated to helping people and to provide insight on how to protect yourself and others.