PHENIX CITY, Ala. — Kids are heading back to school and while many students will enjoy the opportunity to learn, some students will be afraid just to walk down the hall.
Two Phenix City churches, Phillip Temple CME Church and Shiloh Baptist Church are hoping to put an end to bullying before the start of the school year.
“No one is greater than anyone else and that if our communities are going to be strong it takes all of working together in order to get there,” says Gregory Scott, a pastor at Phillips Temple CME Church.
Reverend Scott says help is available for victims of bullying.
“We want to let them know that the church cares about them and the church can be a place of fun that way you don’t have to come and sit still all the time but we can have jumpings and we can have music,” he says.
Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe advocates against bullying, urging students to show respect to each other.
“We should always respect each other we should always respect each others strength and weaknesses our differences and we should always respect each other because we are all created for the sake of showing compassion and care for each other,” says Mayor Lowe.
Leaders say showing compassion isn’t the only thing students should do, the should also be vocal.
“If they are ever faced with that to to an adult figure, go to a teacher, let them know,” says Pastor for Shiloh Baptist Church Curtis Bishop. “You can also go to your local pastor or some of the leaders in the church to let them know what’s going on.”
Parents say bullying won’t go away overnight, but they are glad the community notices and wants to put an end to an annual tradition.
“Definitely having the kids in an environment where they can mingle and it’s not in school and then they can learn how to even deal with bullying,” says a local church goer Regina Key. “We hope bullying disappears but we need to know how to handle that with our kids.”
A tradition they are hoping to keep out the classroom this year.