By Tia Lynn Ivey
More than 200 people arrived at the largest Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Anti-Bullying Social last Saturday.
The sixth annual event sponsored by the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office was open to Morgan County youth aged 8-years-old to 15-years-old. The event ran from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and was held at the Morgan County Recreation Department.
According to Olivia Laborn, Anti-Bullying Social event, the event included “motivational speakers, food, games and prizes.”
A live DJ, Darren Ballard, also entertained the youth. Ministers, educators, law enforcement officers and public officials interacted with the children. “They played games with them, they let the kids know they are concerned about them outside the workplace.”
Speakers included Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley, Pastor Alfred Murray, Morgan County Elementary Principal Laura Still, Lt. Derrick Reid and Assistant District Attorney Jeff Burks.
Osborne Dennis, founder of 321 Stop Bullying, also gave a motivational speech to the youth about developing “positive attitudes” and he taught the children the mantra that “the best day of the year is no bullying day.”
“The children felt like they were loved. We are concerned about them and their everyday lives.”
“This type of event hopefully will keep kids from being hurt and hurting others. It can save lives,” said Laborn.
Food for the event was donated, Laborn said.
The Morgan County ROTC presented the colors at the event and led the pledge of allegiance.
At the beginning of the event two children presented Laborn with brief essays against bullying.
Jairean Brown, a MCES student wrote, “I think bullying is bad because you don’t have a clue what people are going through. When God wanted you to come out of the womb he didn’t bring you out to bully. He wanted you to do his will on this earth and besides bullying can put people in hospital’s or evan you. So if I was you I would take this advice: never bully.
MCES student wrote, “It can start fights; it can lead to different things; you could hurt someone; when you bully it is like a threat; If you bully you can do things that you did not mean to do.”
“Some of the children didn’t want to go home,” she said.