Mayor's Anti-Bullying Task Force

Not in Our Town Paducah signBackground and Joint Resolution

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.

Joint Resolution Signed February 26, 2013 >>

Anti-Bullying Task Force Members

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)

Why This is So Important

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.

Mayor's Anti-Bullying Youth Council

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.

Goals: 

  • To provide opportunities for the pro-active integration of ideas and information from the student bodies represented on the council related to types of bullying which occur.
  • To develop a plan for ongoing assessment of the specific types of bullying that occur in our schools and community in order to develop a strategic plan to address these issues.
  • To engage the school community, community at-large, in the support of these strategies and initiatives, to foster and enhance an anti-bullying climate in all schools and youth related activities.

Youth Council September 16, 2014Student 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:

  • McCracken County High School: 5 representatives (one representative from each of the five houses)
  • Paducah Tilghman High School: 3 representatives
  • St. Mary High School: 2 representatives
  • Community Christian Academy: 2 representatives
  • Home School: 2 representatives

Youth Council Middle School Representatives:

  • McCracken County Middle Schools: 9 representatives (one from each grade level at Lone Oak, Heath, and Reidland Middle Schools)
  • Paducah Middle School: 3 representatives (one from each grade level)
  • St. Mary Middle School: 2 representatives
  • Community Christian Academy: 2 representatives
  • Home School: 2 representatives

Mayor's Youth Council Student Application >>

Information About Youth Council Liaison >>

How You Can Help

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.

Events and Media

Attendees at Kick-off eventAnnouncement 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.     

Media

Kick-Off News Release for July 1, 2013 event >>

Conference Call with Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas News Release >>

Mayor's Anti-Bullying Youth Council Sets First Meeting for October 20, 2014 >>