The community outreach event will take place Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Lebanon High School and will look to address issues related to bullying, cyber bullying, harassment and suicide prevention and awareness.
School leaders and officials decided to hold the event after recent complaints and testimonies of extreme bullying and harassment were revealed at the school and online.
“Of course, the school holds some responsibility when our students are in crisis. We want to build a better environment of safety, security and comfort for our families,” said Lebanon High School principal Scott Walters. “We need to work with parents and the community at large in becoming more aware of what resources are available, not only within the school, but also at home and in our town.”
The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office partners with Wilson County Schools to place a school resource officer in every school in the county. Wilson County SRO supervisor Lt. Scott Moore said the department takes every crisis seriously, especially when it involves students.
“This will be a great opportunity for everyone to come together as a community to discuss problems as related to bullying/cyber bullying and give us an opportunity to engage the community on what we are doing to help remedy these situations. It's always our goal to make every effort possible to maintain a safe and secure school environment,” Moore said.
Wilson County Schools spokesperson Jennifer Johnson said the meeting would allow the school system to play a role in the crisis’ solution.
"What we're hoping to do is open up a two-way dialogue with the community about how we can work together to combat online bullying. The problem is becoming more and more pervasive, not just at Lebanon High School, but all across the country. Unfortunately, school administrators don't always know about these situations, and even when they do, there are certain limitations on what the school system can and can't do,” Johnson said.
"Obviously, the school system has a role to play in this solution. If there are things we can be doing better, then we need to figure out what those things are. At the same time, it would be shortsighted to think that we can make a few policy changes and systematically end cyber bullying,” she said.