Prentiss County grandmother concerned about school bullying

By Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

BOONEVILLE – The grandmother of a Prentiss County student who has been the victim of bullying brought the issue to the school board at its regular meeting earlier this week.

Kathy Carlon said although her grandson’s problem is being addressed by the principal and staff at his school, she urged the district to make anti-bullying efforts a high priority.

Carlon shared some of the research she had done on the issue of bullying in schools, saying she was shocked at the high incidence and its repercussions on students that included responses as drastic as suicide.

Board member Lisa Slack noted that the school district had adopted an anti-bullying policy after the state Legislature passed an anti-bullying law in 2010.

School staff might need a refresher on the policy and how to record and respond to reports of bullying, board President Ronny Kesler said, and the board will follow up on the issue with Superintendent Randle Downs.

District Testing Coordinator Luke Ledbetter and Hills Chapel Principal Nicky Marshall will attend an information program at the Family Resource Center of Northeast Mississippi in Tupelo next week that is designed to let school administrators around Northeast Mississippi know what programs they can offer schools.

Among the topics on the agenda for the 11 a.m. Oct. 2, program are bullying, low self-esteem, handling negative peer pressure and more.

“Many times you don’t know the extent of a bullying problem because children may not report it,” Marshall said. “We want to see if this program can help us find ways to prevent bullying rather than simply reacting if something happens.”

lena.mitchell@journalinc.com