Not long after Mayor Gayle Kaler took office in January 2013, she decided to create an anti-bullying task force. In February 2013, the Paducah Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution supporting anti-bullying foundations, initiatives, and programs within the City of Paducah and McCracken County. The joint resolution is signed by the City of Paducah, the McCracken County Fiscal Court, the Paducah Human Rights Commission, and the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation. Mayor Gayle Kaler says, “What it does is increase awareness in the community, and as leaders it shows we won’t accept this behavior.”
The resolution states having civil, peaceful, and safe schools, businesses, and other community environments are necessary for the well-being, health, happiness, and productivity of individuals. Also, the reasonable expectation is that people treat others the way they would want to be treated. The resolution asks that local educational organizations, businesses, and other organizations and agencies work to prevent bullying through education, training, and the implementation of policies and procedures.
With the help of Susan Guess of the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation and Dr. Bernice Belt, Chair of the Paducah Human Rights Commission, Mayor Kaler named 21 members, including herself, to the anti-bullying task force.
|Dr. Bernice Belt||Susan Guess||Lindsey Miller|
|Lauren Barks||Carol Harmon||Mayor Gerry Montgomery|
|Amy Clevidence||Bill Jones||Allison Ogden|
|Art Davis||Mayor Gayle Kaler||Victoria Parrish|
|Melissa Dillon||Brian Katz||Jackie Smith|
|Dr. Scott Garrett||Joy Lentz||Josh White|
|City Commissioner Carol Gault||A.J. Martin||
George Wilson (of the Tennessee Titans)
The statistics should make everyone stop and think about what they can do to make a difference. Every seven seconds a teen is bullied, and every day 160,000 kids do not go to school because they are afraid. Fear is paralyzing our kids and our community. Bullying is not limited to children. Bullying comes in all forms from workplace bullying to bullying at your local churches and community organizations to bullying at home. Our choice is how we respond to bullying. We can blame others, ignor the problem, or be a part of the solution. Paducah has chosen to work on solutions and ways to empower kids and adults to stand up for each other and themselves. This needs to be a culture change.
Mission: The mission of the School Youth Council is to assist the Mayor's Anti-Bullying Task Force is designing prevention and intervention recommendations and strategies to address bullying of school age children in our community.
Student Representative Selection Process: At the September 16, 2014 City Commission meeting, Mayor Kaler recognized the 30 students selected for the Youth Council. The Task Force received 127 applications which included a minimum 50 word essay detailing their personal commitment and passion for the prevention of bullying behavior. The Youth Council's first meeting is October 20, 2014 from 9:30 until 11 a.m. at the Murray State University Paducah Regional Campus. Youth Council News Release >>
The desired student representation for the Youth Council is as follows:
Youth Council High School Representatives:
Youth Council Middle School Representatives:
Several people have expressed interest in serving to make a difference. Those who are not named to the task force will have an opportunity to help on one of the committees that the task force will create. If you are interested in serving, please send your contact information and some background about yourself and your interests to Lindsay Parish, Administrative Assistant in the General Government Department at City Hall.
Announcement of Task Force Members: On July 1, 2013 Mayor Kaler introduced the members of the Paducah Anti-Bullying Task Force at an event at the Park Avenue location of the Oscar Cross Boys & Girls Club. Mayor Kaler read the resolution that was approved by the Paducah Board of Commissioners. Susan Guess and Dr. Bernice Belt spoke about the importance of awareness and being proactive in addressing bullying issues. Thirteen members of the task force were able to attend the kick-off meeting.