2018-02-08 / Front Page

STOP BULLYING

Local anti-bullying seminar geared towards changing a serious situation
By Tanya Terry
810-452-2645 • tterry@mihomepaper.com


For over two years, Tracy Palmer has been going to schools, churches and to Job Corps centers as an advocate for anti-bullying for youth and adults. Pictured Little Miss Flint Mari Copeny (left) and Tracy Palmer (right). 
Photo provided For over two years, Tracy Palmer has been going to schools, churches and to Job Corps centers as an advocate for anti-bullying for youth and adults. Pictured Little Miss Flint Mari Copeny (left) and Tracy Palmer (right). Photo provided BURTON —Tracy Palmer began speaking out against bullying because it was a matter close to her heart that affected her family.

As a mother and owner of Trendsetters Productions modeling and etiquette school, Palmer will lead a free presentation for the community from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Ebenezer Community Center.

Palmer said she her becoming an advocate for anti-bullying started when her daughter was 13.

“We have a Safe Haven as part of my regular program in which we have a round table discussion about things that are hard to talk about,” Palmer said. “We knew my daughter was being bullied, but didn’t realize the extreme of it until then.”


Both Tracy Palmer (pictured) and her daughter have been bullied before. So, Palmer speaks out strongly against bullying. 
Photos provided Both Tracy Palmer (pictured) and her daughter have been bullied before. So, Palmer speaks out strongly against bullying. Photos provided Palmer said her daughter was bullied by a group of girls that used to be her friends.

“She found out they were doing things she didn’t want to do, and decided they couldn’t be friends,” Palmer said. “Then, they started bullying her. One day, they surrounded her, and she had a panic attack. Then, the school and her family got involved.”

Palmer’s daughter later shared she had been hiding in the bathroom before that day, not getting sleep and had been having panic attacks even before then. Palmer later found out about 75 percent of those in the Safe Haven had been bullied.

“We had a fashion show about anti-bullying,” Palmer said. “The students got to do monologues. It took about four months to plan the show. Leading up to the show, as we advertised it, I started getting confessions and people wanted me to talk to their kids.”

For over two years, Palmer has been going to schools, churches and to Job Corps centers.

“Everyday, my Facebook inbox is full of people sharing their stories about bullying,” she said. “I share exercises to help them build their self-esteem so they don’t reach the point of suicide.”

Over three million students are bullied per year, according to dosomething.org. The site also said as of 2016, approximately 160,000 teens were skipping school every day because of bullying and one in 10 students drop out of school because of repeated bullying. According to stopbullying.gov., between one in four and one in three U.S. students said they have been bullied at school. The equivalent of about one in five students has admitted to bullying, according to brainia.com., and suicide was the second leading cause of death among persons aged 15-34 years in 2015, according to cdc.gov.

During the upcoming seminar, Palmer will show a video about a mother who lost her son to suicide. Participants will hear statistics, including a shocking statewide statistic, and do self-esteem building exercises. For one exercise, the Sticky Note Challenge, participants are asked to write something positive about themselves every day for 30 days. In the seminar, Palmer suggests parents share positive information by cell phone during the day if that’s the only way they can communicate with their kids. Attendees will be able to have snacks and meet new friends that may have went through what they are going through. They also receive pamphlets, resources, anti-bullying cards, pencils and bracelets.

Palmer, who shares openly that she has been bullied herself for having dark skin, being skinny and being a virgin, said, most importantly, participants will have a chance to talk.

Details: call 810-449-9356.

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