A session of serious talk about the dangers of bullying and ways of ending it took place starting at 11 a.m. at Curry’s Community Outreach Ministry on 606 Greenlawn.
The first speaker was Rashalla Young, recent graduate with a degree in elementary education from Henderson State University. She spoke on several topics, emphasizing the need to avoid simply being a bystander when you see bullying occurring, urging the dozen teenagers in the audience to intervene instead. She also talked about the need to have high standards for who you choose to spend time with so as to avoid eing peer pressured into trying dangerous things. Positivity, she explained, was a way of approaching life that meant being more thankful and engaged with good experiences and learning as opposed to those that are sad or unpleasant. This technique helped her keep up her studies at Henderson despite two family tragedies that occurred during her first year.
The next speakers were from the Prescott Police Department. Chief Ann Jordan and Sergeant Daniel Autry told the teenaged attendees that if they found themselves bullied by anyone, from peers to adults, they should report it to someone they trust, including to a police officer. They also said any unused drugs they come across could be disposed of at the police station without any danger of being arrested if the drugs were illegal. Sergeant Autry also spoke about the way cyberbullying, unpleasant or threatening communications sent over social media, has been the leading form of bullying these days. “The days of being bullied for your lunch money are over. It’s more the cyberbullying now,” he said.
Chief Jordan said that in many cases, bullying has led to school shootings, and that increases the importance of reaching out to those who have been bullied often.
When Pastor Ivory Curry took the podium, he spoke about his own childhood experiences, confessing that as a result of living in a household in which his stepfather abused his mother, “I took it out on kids at school.” He said he was finally taken out of that household at age 12 and “raised right,” but reminded the audience that bullying can be a result of those kinds of troubles at home.
As their reward for listening and often participating in the discussions, the attendees were served grilled burgers and sausage dogs with chips, cookies and sodas. Kool-aid pickles were also available for dessert. On Monday June 13 at the same location a video game truck will arrive.
As lunch was served and eaten, Precott Police Officer A.J. Mills, also known as the professional wrestler Sergeant Trouble, spoke to what it takes to pursue dreams for adulthood. He also reminded all that at McRae Gymnasium in Prescott starting at 7:30 tonight, an evening of professional wrestling will take place.