Anti-bullying 5K coming up in city

Published 11:55 pm Saturday, November 23, 2013

A local woman with a daughter that has suffered from bullying has taken it upon herself to do something about it.

Saturday, Dec. 7, Traci Case plans to put on a 5K walk/run, meant to address the issue of bullying in local schools in the area and beyond.

“The walk is meant to bring attention to and raise awareness about bullying. It is something that is occurring way too often in our schools. Something needs to be done about it,” Case said.

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Case, whose daughter attends West Lincoln High School, says that she has been deeply affected by the bullying that her daughter has put up with, and says she wishes to organize with other parents that have gone through the same ordeal with their son or daughters.

Case’s daughter is in special education classes, and some other students might find her to be an easy target of bullying because of her condition, Case suggests. Besides being intimidated physically, Case says her daughter has been harassed by email and text messages, too.

Case said she has kept evidence of her daughter’s harassment and has forwarded this evidence to the school principal and superintendent. According to Case, there is an ongoing investigation into the matter.

Calls by The Daily Leader to West Lincoln Attendance Center Principal Jason Case and Lincoln County Superintendent of Education Terry Brister for comment on the matter have not been returned.

The Brookhaven School District has a link on their web page that clarifies what bullying is and goes into detail how it can be prevented at home by the parents. Also on the BSD website is information on bullying and resources for teachers to take in mind if they see it happening at the school.

According to Traci Case, the effects of bullying have left her daughter fearful. “My daughter dreads going to school. She is absolutely terrified of what will happen day to day. It has had such a drastic effect on her, that it has effected her health.”

From what the mother has learned recently from other parents of school children in the area, this is not entirely uncommon.

“Other parents have mentioned the same things that I have seen with my daughter, as having happened in their homes.”

Kids who leave the school they are attending, or who decide to enroll in another school that is further away, can be a good indication of bullying, Case notes.

Despite selling 82 T-shirts to like-minded parents and those sympathetic with the anti-bullying cause, Case cannot predict the turnout for the event Saturday.

“A lot of the parents that I have talked to are afraid to get involved. Many of them don’t want the public attention. So, it’s difficult to really know how many people will actually show up,” Traci Case said.

It is her wish that parents put aside their concerns and show a united front.

“This is far too important of an issue. We can only make changes that matter if we are all in it together,” she continued.

The anti-bullying 5K walk/run will start behind the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce building at 7:30 a.m. and continue through the streets of downtown Brookhaven. Case invites parents and school children from all area schools to attend the event. Those interested in attending the 5K walk/run can call Case at (601) 757-9241.