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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Stopping the violence by breaking the silence is that what New Hanover County School officials are preaching to parents, students and faculty. We often get calls at WWAY from parents claiming their child is being bullied at school. The school system is trying to take a proactive step to help educate parents on ways to keep their kids safe at home and in school.

Parents, teachers and faculty members say bullying is not something that can be fixed overnight. It’s going to take one child at a time, one step at a time.

When it comes to putting an end to school bullying many people say it all starts with making a change at home.

“They don’t have a mother or father figure at the house and that’s why the bully because they think they can get by with it and it doesn’t work that way,” said Ronald Surles, who attended the Challenge to Empower workshop.

For many of the parents who came out Thursday night to accept the challenge, they hope to find a way to end school violence and bullying.

“I know for a fact there’s always been bullying in schools,” said Tanita Wallance, who is the Williston Parent-Teacher Association President. “Somebody used to bully me for my lunch money back when I was in school years ago but I think with strong parents and communication between parents and teachers and administration I think all situations can be overcome.”

Thursday night’s workshop was full of ways to become more active in your student’s education like limiting your child’s time spent on the internet and monitoring their cell phone. The school’s keynote and motivational speaker Kenston Griffin says its up to parents to step up to the plate and open a dialogue about school.

“Parents are the number one factor to the equation,” said Griffin. “In mathematics you have different signs but parents are the number one factor because if it starts at home you can definitely have those types of behaviors of doing the right things at home going into the school.”

Ten schools participated in the event and organizers hope this is the first of many gatherings for school officials, parents and faculty to sit down and discuss ways to make a change in the New Hanover County School System.

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