Anti-bullying program next week

Published 9:27 pm Friday, April 1, 2011

Students in Northampton County Schools will soon learn a vital lesson on being the anti-bully by way of a motivational speaker.

Next week, Damon Nash will be speaking at each school in Northampton County. On Tuesday, April 5 he will be speaking at Gaston Middle School, Northampton County High School-West/STEM and Central Elementary School. Meanwhile, April 6 will bring Nash to Northampton County High School-East, Conway Middle School and Willis Hare Elementary.

Nash, the founder and CEO of Nfluenceme, a Raleigh-based youth empowerment company, has been speaking to young people for five years.

“Ultimately what I’m trying to do is to have them make a commitment to stop bullying,” he said.

Nash’s 45-minute program, presented in partnership with Exodus For Youth, Nfluenceme and Community In Schools, will engage the students in role playing exercises, speak to them about cyber bullying and encourage them to speak out about the bullying they see in school.

Nash, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, had a childhood friend who was bullied and turned to a gang to find safety and security.

“He wouldn’t have gone that way if he hadn’t been bullied,” he said.

Nash said the bullying of present day is a whole different type of intimidation for young people, exacerbated by technology like computers and cell phones.

“Bullying now compared to when you and I were younger is a whole different game,” he said. “Before kids could go home and have a break (from bullies).”

In his program, Nash encourages students to speak out against bullies by notifying teachers, administration and other adults.

“Bullying happens in the dark,” he said. “The squeaky wheel always gets the grease; you have to be that squeaky wheel.”

Nash will be visiting Bertie County Schools later this month with the same program.