Organization fights to stop bullying in schools - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Organization fights to stop bullying in schools

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HAMILTON COUNT, TN (WRCB) -- For many students and parents it is a topic that hits close to home: bullying. School officials say the challenge with bullying is making sure parents, teachers and students have an open dialogue to stop it.

We had the chance to talk with the Executive Director of 'STARS' in Hamilton County. It stands for 'Students Taking a Right Stand.'

Glenn says stopping bullying is a constant battle...one they're determined to win.

"There is no student that deserves to be subjected to bullying behavior, ever," says Karen Glenn, Executive Director of STARS.

Glenn has been director of STARS for the past five years. The organization focuses its attention on helping students make the right decisions in everyday life, including bullying.

Thursday a group of teachers met to talk about bullying, in this case, on the school bus.

She says there are many signs both parents and teachers need to look for.

"If there are prolonged issues of sadness or isolation or changes in friends, those are the things that kind of indicate that there's something that requires more attention," says Glenn.

One of the challenges, more often than not, is bullying makes its way outside school walls and online to Facebook and YouTube.

"Technology has caused us to alienate, kids alienate themselves from one another," says Glenn.

Just like the student-team building activities teachers went over Thursday, Glenn says the key is opening the door to communication. 

She says STARS goes school to school setting ground rules that students and staff can stand behind.

It also tries to educate students on the difference between conflict and bullying.

"Conflict is normal. It happens everyday that we interact with, with people care about. Bullying is not. It's a blatant sign of disrespect for another person," says Glenn.

She says school should be the last place students feel uncomfortable and that is why she has a message for students who are bullied.

"Talk. They need to talk. We don't want them to hold that in silence. We want them to talk about it so that we can get it stopped," she says.

Glenn also encourages parents to have a close relationship with their children's teacher so there is a better chance of spotting those signs.

STARS has its next training on bullying March 6th.

For more information on STARS or resources on bullying, click here: STARS

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