"The battle between the races and sexuality is still going on," said Austin Chambers, a senior who founded a student group called Equality United, in part to create a safe haven in school for students who might feel vulnerable because they're different from other kids.
"I brush it off. It doesn't bother me anymore," Chambers said. "But I know of three people right now that it has affected a lot."
"It's an issue of understanding and tolerance," said Anderson University School of Education Professor Donna Albrecht, adding that tolerance needs to be taught beginning at a young age, "obviously before middle school."
At the same time, she said not every conflict is a bullying situation, so learning how to effectively resolve conflicts is training that also would be valuable.
Thompson said one of the things school leadership and student leaders should work on is empowering students to intervene and take students who are being bullied out of that situation. He also said that student courts can be created to help resolve conflicts.
Developing those programs will cost money, and cannot possibly be in place by October, Thompson said.
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Continuing Effort The anti-bullying working group convened by new Anderson High School Principal Terry Thompson will meet again August 1 at 9 a.m.