Albany Boys and Girls Clubs tackle bullying

Albany Boys and Girls Club tackles bullying. / Jessica Fairley

Bullying in schools has been highlighted as a problem that needs to be quickly addressed before it gets out of hand. Folks with the Boys and Girls Club of Albany say they are taking steps to battle the issue.

After participating in a bullying intervention course over the summer, Boys and Girls Club staff realized that not a select few, but all staff needed training help to combat the problem.

They say everyone from the van driver to the custodian needs should be trained when it comes down to dealing with a bully situation. That's why on Tuesday they brought in a national trainer to help get the job done.

"We want to make sure that each unit has the techniques in case kids come in bullying kids," said Boys and Girls Club Director of Operations Bob Hutchinson.

During the training course adults and youth leaders discussed the topic then learned intervention tactics. Hutchinson says he wanted teen counselors to participate because they know the kids.

"If something occurs they can sit down and help the kids solve the problem, rather than fighting and beating kids up," said Hutchinson.

The instructor of the class says not all students admit they're being harassed because of shame, but leaders can step in once they recognize the symptoms.

"If you're a target of bullying you may be considered withdrawn or isolated from groups. You may present symptoms of illness. You may not want to get involved in situations that you normally would be a part of," said Boys and Girls Club Director of Southwest Georgia Lee Wagner.

This why officials say bullying will not be tolerated. They want each child to enjoy their experience at the club.

Boys and girls officials say they want parents to know that their children will be safe because facility staff members are prepared for bullies.

"They can feel good at work without worrying that my son, my daughter is going to get beat up," said Bob Hutchinson.

The moderator of the class says there is not a magic bullet to help people deal with bullying. He says it's a long term process that everyone must agree to be a part of.