Counselor addresses ways to prevent bullying

Counselor addresses ways to prevent bullying

GERMANTOWN, TN (WMC) - An online petition addressed to Houston High School administrators is calling for an end to bullying after it said a student took his own life.

The petition has since been closed but had the support of more than 500 people, many of them expressing the growing problem with bullying at the school.

"I don’t even want to consider the possibility that we cannot do something to protect our children,” said Angel Gooden, a counselor with Youth Villages.

Gooden said the day and age of social media can make bullying even worse.

"In the old days people can go get away from school and go home and they could leave it for a little while, but with social media they are immersed in it 24/7,” Gooden said.

However, Gooden says it’s possible to prevent situations like this from reoccurring.

“In this situation I think it is the responsibility lays on the adults,” Gooden said. “Parents have to speak up and I think authority figures and school systems cannot let it go unaddressed.”

The Germantown Municipal School District released a statement:

“Our GMSD District Crisis Team, comprised of licensed clinicians, school counselors, and school psychologists, are on campus providing support for our students and staff. Counseling will be available for as long as necessary in the days to come.”

Gooden says it’s important for parents to talk openly with their kids and look for signs of depression.

"Look for children who are isolated, sudden changes of behavior, lack of concern about their appearances,” Gooden said.

Remember, resources are available if you or your child is struggling. If you need crisis support, you can call the Youth Villages Crisis Hotline at 1-855-CRISIS-1.

We reached out to friends of the student for response and have not yet heard back.

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