Tackling teenage social issues

Informative workshop spreads awareness about bullying


Photo by AR

Principal Carla Dupree presents her slideshow about bullying and suicide prevention. The workshop was held in the math and science building on Aug. 23.

Story by Misty Lopez, In-Depth editor

On Aug. 23, 2018, the annual Bullying and Teen Suicide Prevention Workshop for students, parents and the community. Principal Carla Dupree and counselor Dana McAdoo spoke on serious topics, discussed facts and educated the audience on bullying and suicide prevention.
“This workshop that was held tonight has been held at Texas High for several years, but this is my first year to be a part of it,” McAdoo said. “I’m not sure what year they started it, but because bullying and suicide have been so prevalent with teens, [the school] is trying to get the word out and talk about it. We are trying to help students by being proactive instead of reactive.”
Amongst the audience, there were several groups that have partnerships with Texas High as well as separate organizations that are against bullying and suicide.  
“I am a member of Gamma Kappa Zeta Beta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated. One of our main thrust is ZHOPE, which is Zetas Helping Other People Excel,”  assistant superintendent for student and community development Jo Ann Rice said. “As part of that, youth are very important to us. We actually have our own youth group of young ladies ages 4-18, and we’re here tonight because we feel very strongly about helping young people. We can’t do that unless we know more about what happens with young people, the effects of bullying and how to recognize those effects.”

We started the organization, Taking Action Against Bullying, when Texas High had a suicide here because of bullying.”

— Bess-Gamble Williams

Some groups based their organization on the education behind these issues, and other groups decided that the best way for their organization to succeed was by taking action.
“I’m partnered with the school and have been for the last six years. We started the organization, Taking Action Against Bullying, when Texas High had a suicide here because of bullying. We campaign in the T.I.S.D, and any of the surrounding school districts. Whenever there’s a problem; if a school calls, we make our presence known,” Bess Gamble-Williams said. “We go on the campus and have lunch with the person that is being bullied, but we never force them. This is my community, my home, and no child should be afraid to go to school.”
The main goal for the school and these organizations is to make sure that every student is safe and happy in their daily environments. With everyone, we’re one step closer to accomplishing that goal.
“I actually think it was the first day of school, but I was thinking to myself ‘What if I mess up?’ or ‘What if it’s a rough day?’, but then it hit me that everything earthly is temporary. The downside to that is that the good times are temporary so we need to really relish them and hold onto them,” Dupree said. “The good part about everything earthly being temporary is that if it’s something rough, it’s going to pass. Just hold on, get some support, get through it and then move on to something else.”