Mother Spearheads Anti-Bullying Campaign in Paducah, KY | Not in Our Town

Mother Spearheads Anti-Bullying Campaign in Paducah, KY










When Susan Guess of Paducah, KY learned that her 8-year-old daughter was being bullied by a classmate, she was devastated.

“I’m a 37-year-old mom, with a very close and open relationship with my child, yet she kept that information private from me,” she said.

Guess asked her daughter Morgan what was going on and was finally told the truth about being bullied at school.

“This was an eye opening experience about how little I and the school knew about bullying,” Guess said. “There was so much ignorance.”

Guess became increasingly concerned about her child and other children who suffer in silence, so she and Morgan decided to open the conversation about bullying and share their story.

Guess met with school leaders to raise awareness about the growing problem of bullying at their school. She also launched an anti-bullying campaign that would raise money to bring the film Bully and Director Lee Hirsch to their town.

For the premiere of Bully in Paducah, the Guess Anti-Bully Fund produced a video asking people to join the movement and say “Not In Our Town.”

“I’m not sure when I first heard the phrase,” Guess said. “But ‘Not in Our Town’ shows people that they can make a difference when they work together.”

Guess spreads her message throughout the community, speaking at local churches and schools about the importance of standing together and taking action against bullying. At the Washington Street Baptist Church, the youth joined Guess by writing pledges to stop bullying.

The Guess Anti-Bully Fund will bring Jodee Blanco, author of the book Please Stop Laughing at Me to Paducah to speak with students, school staff and parents about bullying.

Encouraged by the support of faith leaders, community members, elected officials and school leaders, Susan Guess is now working with the school board to bring anti-bullying activities into the curriculum and include a definition of bullying in the school Code of Conduct. She also plans to meet with Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear to draft a statewide anti-bullying initiative. 

“People are initially afraid to inject themselves, but they really do want to make a difference,” Guess said.


I used to be bullied in school. This is not a new thing, it is an old thing that has been going on for many years. I am 43 years old and was bullied in elementary school. Why? Because I was fat in the 3rd grade. I am so glad that they are now making progress with this subject in schools to keep others from suffering in silence. May they make progress throughout the nation.

hello i robbie i grew up in a small town in MASS and since i was in 3rd grade i was bullied by lots of people do to be being learning disabled so i got everything done to me head in toilit and so on but it was my friends i grew up with that stood their ground and showed that im no different except how i learn. so i started to play sports and sudenly found i had friends and commonground to talk about at all that blossomed in to long turm friendships. Rememberd a quote my grandfather told me and it is the other part to how i servived "Be the change you want to see in theworld" gaundi. so i started with smiles then those smiles became hellos and so on. IT WILL ALL GET BETTER



 I want to share my daughters story with you. Camille is 14 and in the 8th grade and she has created a organizaiton called Dare To be Different. Why do you ask; well she has been a victim of bullying for a few years now because she is "different", she has a diease called Alopeica which caused some of her hair to fall out and she lost 1 and half of her eyebrows. She was called names like Freak and hairless cat she was told that no boys will ever like her because she is a freak with no eyebrows! They would meow when they walked by her and laugh. She lost some friends because they were afraid of being bullied so they joined in instead of standing up for her. She went from being a vibrant, outgoing, loving cheer and school to crying everyday, quitting the one thing she loved cheer, not wanting to go to school girl! She wanted to commit suicide to get away from the pain! I was not going to let these bullies win and take my daughter from us. With a lot of crying and love we got Camille through it. This year however it started again when school stared up in September; with more kids being involved. This time Camille stood up and fought back with her words; she created a page called Dare to be Different to have a place to vent and vent she did!! Everyday she was getting likes on her page, comments and messages from kids and adults telling her how she is inspireing and how she is empowering them to stand up. As of today Camille has over 1600 likes on her page. She is a Jr. Ambassador for Global alopecia Mission(GAM) and for Marlowe Middle school. She has raised $700 to help GAM find a cure for Alopeica by selling shirts that say dare to be different and bully free! She has cheer bows, bracelets, sweatshirts, and sweatpants that say Dare to be Different and bully free! She has spoken to a few cheer gyms in our area sharing her story and raising awarness about anti bullying. When she speaks these kids listen; there standing before them is a beautiful girl one of their peers speaking from her heart about her experince with bullying and when she is done there is not a dry eye in that room. Some of them have either gone through or is going through what Camille has. She says if I can get through to at least 1 bully that person will then change 1 person and the ripple effect will take place mom! She has had girls and boys tell her that if she can do it so can they! What ever your "different" is it is ok to be different we are all different in our own way and that's fine but it is not ok to bully someone becasue they are different. Camille will be taking her first out of town trip to speak at a school in Ohio; she was asked to particiapte in thier Anti bullying week; we live in Illinois! She will also be in the Miss Teen Illinois international pageant in March. Her platform will be 50% of her score; her platform will be her dare to be different! She wants to do this to show everyone out there that yes I'm different but I am following my dreams and so can you! Camille's goal is to travel and to speak to as many kids as she can to raise awarness and to let people know that yes WORDS can hurt and sometimes Kill not just your fists but your WORDS! Thank you for reading my long winded letter! Camille is someone you should know and meet!  

Thank you,

Melissa Paddock

My son Devon is a fifth grader at South Livingston Elementary in Smithland, Ky.  Since the begining of the 2012/2013 school year he has been a victim of bullying.  It has gotten so bad wth no one bringinng resolution to the situation that Devon was physically assaulted on Friday, Feb 22, 2013.  It was a sad day for me and my family.  I have been to the school several times this year.  The week before my son was assaulted, I called the guidance conselor and reminded her of the recent incidents.  (My son is being bullied by 6th graders).  She assured me the 5th and 6th graders were not together very much.  Obviously she was not truthful.  They have breakfast and lunch together as well as bathroom breaks.  My son has been cornered by all three 6th graders in the bathroom, might I add my son is much smaller than these three boys.  I have cried out to the principles, guidance counselors, superintendent, and local sherrif's department.  You might ask if anyone has resolved the situation. The answer is no.  I have no idea what to do or who to turn to.  The boy that beat my son up is supposedly in isolation, however is still in the breakfast and lunch room with my son, namecalling on a daily basis.  I'm at a loss.


Heather Meeks

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