New Back Up Bully! Program to Help Students with Bullying

Donna Crain Drury

There’s a new program starting here in Lawrenceburg geared towards reducing and preventing school yard bullying.  Created by Donna Crain Drury, “Back Up Bully!” is a program that she has been working on over the course of a couple years to create the first anti bullying organization in the county.  Although not affiliated with the school system, the school system has been very accommodating, and the program has also received mini grants from the Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) to help make sure the program remains free for all participants.

The new program has its roots in Donna’s childhood.  She was teased and bullied when growing up which caused her to have little to no self esteem.  The damage stayed with her until her mid 40s when she was able to overcome the affects of the bullying.  Later, when she started Mirrors of Grace which is a mentoring program for children, she started seeing the same problems with bullying that affected her as child with the children she was mentoring.  That’s when she realized there weren’t any resources in the county to help children with bullying.

After seeing such horrible affects of bullying which includes childhood suicide and drug use, she decided to see what she could do to help.  Spending a couple of years to research, she came across Drs Frank Sacco and Stewart Twemlow of the International Association for Applied Psychoanalytic Studies in Massachusetts.  The doctors specialize in creating communities peaceful communities around the world, and they gave Donna much advice and recommendations on how to create an anti-bullying program here in Anderson County.

She then started working with two other parents, Sherry Diaz and Lasaundra Cobb, to help create the program.  They decided to hold free workshops in October for students in first through fifth grades and also the parents.  Each workshop will focus on self esteem and confidence building, teamwork, and for the parents, identifying the signs that your child might bullied or is a bully.  Also, the workshops will help build peer advocacy where children of the same age stand up for others being bullied to help stop bullying.

The workshops will be held from 9am to 11am at the Board of Education Building on October 10th for first through third grades, October 17th for fourth through fifth grades, and October 24th for the parents and caregivers.  Each workshop is limited to about 25 students/parents.  To sign up for the workshops, please visit the Back Up Bully! Facebook page or contact Donna directly at dcdrury@roadrunner.com.  Also, on September 22nd at 4pm, students and parents of the program will be meeting with County Judge Executive Orbrey Gritton who will be signing a proclamation about the program.

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