Parents meet for bully forum - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Parents meet for bully forum

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OOLTEWAH, TN (WRCB) -

Parents in Ooltewah met with child advocates Tuesday night for a conversation that was intended to have no boundaries. 

For those like Donna Christian-Lowe, the Ooltewah rape case has created shock and a number of questions which is why she came to Tuesday's parent-bully forum. 

"I had some questions I really didn't know how to answer that I think I'm walking away with a little better understanding," she said. 

Christian-Lowe also serves on the board of directors for district 9 which includes Ooltewah High School. She says more parents shouldn't assume kids know how to handle bullying and hazing. 

"We need to be communicating that environment, we don't need to assume our kids know, 'Oh, he's a bully, stay away from him.' Don't assume that," she added. 

Parents listened to the panel comprised of a number of child advocates from throughout the community answer some of their most difficult questions including Tennessee's mandatory reporting law which has sparked conversation after three coaches were charged last week for failing to report child sex abuse in the Ooltewah case. 

"Whether that is a youth-serving professional or a bystander who is aware of something, I think a lot of our community doesn't always realize their responsibility towards reporting and also what to do and how to do it," Executive Director at Children's Advocacy Center Shelley McGraw said. 

A hard reality for parents and community leaders to face but one necessary to prevent what happened in Ooltewah from happening again. 

"I don't think I would have walked way with the same feeling if they did not. They were very hard questions but I think the next meeting needs to be deeper," Christian-Lowe said. 

Organizers say there will be more meetings in the future. When we have those dates, we'll be sure to pass them along. 

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