KNOXVILLE (WATE) – When your kids go to schooL, a group of parents, students, and others want to make sure everyone is safe. They met Sunday afternoon at the Tennessee Valley Universalist Church in West Knoxville.
Sunday afternoon’s meeting was intended to raise awareness on bullying. It’s all about making sure that east Tennessee schools are safe for everyone.
Dr. Anjana Love-Dixon is a parent who has a son attending Cedar Bluff Middle School; she’s had to transfer him there because of issues at another school. She enjoys meetings like this– she says it’s a good feeling to come up with new ideas and address issues that affect our children.
“The children are our future and it is important to foster equality among all people in this wonderful state that has great potential to grow,” she said.
Tennessee Equality Project’s Ryan Hood, is the program coordinator of SAFE which means “schools are a safe and welcoming place for everybody,” he likes to help communities in east Tennessee deal with cases of bullying and other things–Hood say’s now’s the time to speak up, because he’s witnessed lots of unfair treatment over his life.
“Well personally I think that every student and every person deserves to feel like their human…it was more than bullying, there were people being physically assaulted on a regular basis for being gay and for being black and for being black and talking to a white girl,” he said.
These people just want to open a line of communication in all east Tennessee so that every student can feel acceptance for who they are and have a safe place. Alex Irwin, a senior at Maryville high has experienced bullying and he doesn’t want any other student to go through the same.
“I feel like as a leader of my school for our GSA, that’s why I should be here to make them know that I’m striving to help them in any way possible,” said Irwin.
This has been Tennessee Equality Project’s fifth meeting on making schools safe for everyone; they plan on having their next one month.
For more information about the Tennessee Equality Project, visit their Facebook page.