Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you. That’s one old saying that organizers of an anti-bullying event say has been proven wrong time and time again.
Kingdom Learning Academy is hosting an anti-bullying awareness summit 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., March 1 at Evans Towne Center Park. Organizers hope to educate the community and bring awareness about the seriousness of bullying and to let children know that there is help available.
Dora Webb, director of Kingdom Learning Academy, a private Christian school in Martinez, said she has a passion for young people and it has been weighing heavy on her heart that kids are under so much pressure in school nowadays.
Webb said the event will include various speakers, including the Rev. Nate Barbour, associate pastor of Good News Church in Augusta. There will also be entertainment such as dancing, group performances, a fashion show and even a “Stop the Bullying” kick ball tournament.
“It’s really for everybody, but it’s our youth that’s having problems with the bullying in schools and stuff like that, so my main (goal) really is to get as many school-aged children as possible,” Webb said. “So we can bring awareness to let them know that we know this and that there’s help for this and how to go about getting some help for this.”
The theme for the summit is “You Shall Live and Not Die.” Webb said so many children are broken mentally, spiritually and emotionally with no self-esteem and they might get to the point where they seek out violence against themselves or others. Webb said she wants children to know there’s a way they can live through this, so the title just seemed to fit in place.
Nate Barbour, one of the guest speakers at the anti-bullying summit, said he is really excited about to be a part of something like this in the area to share his story.
“I was picked on as a child and I had plenty of opportunities to overcome and plenty of bad advice and so we’ll talk a little bit about that and then share some good advice about how to overcome the obstacles that young people face today when it comes to just peer pressure and giving in and all of the things that they face that could lead to bullying in school,” Barbour said.
Barbour said his focus will be helping the children he’s able to speak with be confident with who they are.
“A lot of the times we tend to try to fit in and try to be somebody we’re not in order to make somebody like us and that’s not the answer,” Barbour said. “The answer is to be confident in who you are and whose you are as in what your heavenly father believes about you and being confined in that and really not caring what other people think about you.”
Barbour said he’s passionate about this topic because he’s passionate about young people because he’s a youth pastor and has dealt with a lot of young people with depression and self-esteem issues.
“If we can just get to the root of the issue and really speak at it’s core then I believe we can make a difference for some young people and help pull them out of depression or some of the things that they’re facing,” he said.