Anti-bullying vigil held in Grainger County

By: Hilary Magacs Email
By: Hilary Magacs Email

WASHBURN, Tenn (WVLT) -- The anti-bullying vigil was held at the Clinch Mountain Overlook in Grainger County Saturday evening.

Washburn School senior Amanda Dunn and her mom spent the day making signs and getting ready for the vigil. The goal: stop bullying in schools.

"Bullying is a huge problem everywhere because there's so many different types of people, and when they're pushed together like that for so long, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 180 days a year, things happen," said Dunn.

About two weeks ago, four teenage girls confronted another girl outside Washburn School.

"Heard that the girl had snitched or said something that they didn't like. They waited for her to get outside and one of them had taken her head against the pole and the other kind of blocked her in," said Dunn.

Grainger County deputies charged one of them with aggravated assault, and the others with assault.

In an unrelated case in Lenoir City, 15-year-old Colt Jones recently took his own life. A group of young Girl Scouts hit the streets to stand up for what reportedly lead to his death: bullying.

Dunn says it's a problem that's often ignored, and is hopeful her vigil will change that.

"I'm hoping that all of the schools - anybody involved in schools, watching this stands up and says 'Okay, well I don't want anything like that to happen in my school. I'm going to do everything I can so that it doesn't happen in my school,'" she said.

To help make sure it doesn't, Dunn's mom would like to see anti-bullying curriculum added in all schools.

"For our students coming in as Freshman, some type of class on bullying and its effects," said Angela Dawson, Dunn's mother.

Both Dunn and her mom said they're hopeful their anti-bullying vigil will help raise awareness about the importance of tolerance, and let people who are currently being bullied know that they're not alone, and that help is available.

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