A panel of experts in various fields from central Alabama spoke to approximately 100 people at Samford University on Thursday, September 18, 2014, about the evolving role of schools in eliminating bullying and cyber-bullying.

See this post for more information published prior to the forum.

Full audio is available at this link. Or click below.


Resources Available from Sponsors and Panelists

Each of the sponsors listed below has information available on their web sites to assist parents, students, and/or school employees in addressing, controlling, and eliminating bullying and cyber-bullying in our schools. There are so many resources available, it can be difficult to determine which resource to use. We encourage you to spend time viewing the information available on these sites. Phone numbers are available for most of these organizations if you need to call for assistance.

Hadassah – Bully Project Initiative 2014

Alabama State Department of Education – Stop Bullying in Alabama

Breaking Bullying Birmingham – Community forum on Facebook to share resources, ideas, and news about bullying.

The Bully Project – Alabama 

Welcoming Schools – Welcoming Schools has a vast number of resources available for schools to become more welcoming places for all children.

Alabama Safe Schools Coalition

Alabama School Connection (ASC) – Best way to find resources is to use the search box and search for “bullying” and “harassment”.

The Student Harassment Prevention Act of 2009: Did It Do What It Said It Would Do? from the ASC gives a full look at the law and what state law requires schools and districts to do to comply with the law.

The Program from the Forum

Click here to open the program handed to participants.

Facts and Numbers for Your Consideration

This guide, Bullying: What Is It? How Do We Prevent It?, contains simple-to-understand graphics depicting the magnitude of bullying incidents and how many children are affected. It was used to conduct forums across the state of Alabama that resulted in the following resource being published.

Finding Common Ground on Bullying – David Mathews Center for Civic Life – A framework synthesized by Alabamians for Alabama communities to work toward solutions.


CARISSA ANTHONY- Carissa Anthony is the Prevention and Development Coordinator for Homewood City Schools. In addition to school-based prevention efforts she also coordinates a youth drug prevention coalition whose purpose is to bring the school and community together to prevent youth substance abuse. Prior to coming to Homewood, Carissa worked as the Coordinator for the Hoover Coalition Promoting a Safe and Healthy Community. The Hoover Coalition was a project of Hoover City Schools. The Coalition’s mission was to reduce violence and drug use among youth. During this time Carissa chaired the district’s bullying prevention committee which began in 2008. Carissa earned her Bachelor’s degree from Auburn in Early Childhood Development and a Master’s degree from Georgia State University in Professional Counseling. She is married with 2 daughters.

DR. PHIL HAMMONDS -Dr. Phil Hammonds served as Superintendent of the Jefferson County School System for 10 years, retiring in 2013.  Serving more than 36,000 students in 56 schools, Jefferson County is Alabama’s second largest school system.  Dr. Hammonds previously has served as Superintendent of Education of both Sylacauga City Schools and Pell City Schools.  He earned his Ed.D. from the University of Alabama. In 2007, Dr. Hammonds was named Outstanding Superintendent of the Year by the Alabama Congress of Parents and Teachers (PTA).  That same year he was presented the Kermit Johnson Outstanding Superintendent Award by the University of Montevallo. In 2008, he received the Outstanding Administrator Award from the Alabama Music Educators Association. In 2011, he was recognized as District 5 Superintendent of the Year as voted on by his peers representing the 13 school districts within Jefferson and Shelby counties.  In the summer of 2012 he was presented the Distinguished Library Service Award by the Alabama School Library Association. His civic involvement includes work with the Boy Scouts of America, the United Way, and the Salvation Army.

DR. JAMES JEFFERS –James Jeffers received his Bachelor’s degree from Auburn University, his Master’s degree from Georgia State University, and his Doctor’s degree from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has served as a Teacher and Coach at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA; as a Middle School Division Chair at Holy Innocent’s Episcopal School in Atlanta; as Headmaster of Whitehaven Methodist Day School in Memphis, TN; as Headmaster of the Highlands School in Birmingham, AL, as Principal of Vestavia Hills Elementary School – Central, in Birmingham, AL; and as Superintendent of Tallassee City Schools in Tallassee, AL. His doctoral dissertation earned the Outstanding Dissertation Award by the Education Law Association in 1993. He was selected to attend the Superintendent’s Work Conference at Columbia University in 1997. In 2012, he received the Outstanding Music Educators Award for Administrators. Dr. Jeffers is a frequent speaker on the legal issues of bullying. He serves as a Lead Evaluator for AdvancED, and assists school systems as an Associate with BWP Associates. 

PAT LYNCH- Pat Lynch is a Governmental Affairs Consultant, who, along with his wife, Tynette Lynch, CEO of Aldridge Gardens, created the Bullying First Response program in 2012. The Lynches have 4 adult children and 12 grandchildren.  Their children all attended Hoover Schools and their grandchildren all attend either Hoover Schools or Shelby County Schools. Their interests in bullying came started after hearing a mother speak about her daughter that committed suicide as a result of being bullied. Tynette Lynch is a 29-year veteran in the Hospitality Industry, a former General Manager of the Mountain Brook Inn, the Wynfrey Hotel and owns a hotel consulting company. Pat Lynch is a former managing partner with Birmingham Budweiser and President of Pat Lynch and Associates. They reside in Shelby County.

LISA MOYER-Lisa Moyer is the Youth Advocacy Organizer at AIDS Alabama within their project the Alabama Alliance for Healthy Youth.  She works to ensure that school districts have anti-harassment policies that include and protect LGBTQ+ youth.  Ms. Moyer has a BA in Sociology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a MPH in Maternal and Child Health from the University of Alabama, Birmingham.  She self-identifies as a queer, intersectional feminist, and has spent many years working for social justice.   Moyer is currently a member of the Alabama Safe Schools Coalition (ASSC), a member of Southerners on New Ground (SONG), and on the Board of Greater Birmingham Ministries, representing the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham.

DR. CRAIG POUNCEY-Dr. Craig Pouncey has been Superintendent of the Jefferson County School System since July 1, 2014.  Serving more than 36,000 students in 56 schools, Jefferson County is Alabama’s second largest school system.  Dr. Pouncey previously served as Chief of Staff for the State Department of Education and Superintendent of Crenshaw County Schools.  His Ed.D. is from the Samford University. While at the State Department, his responsibilities included proper use and distribution of all state and federal funds for K-12 public schools. He served as the department’s legislative liaison, and oversaw financial accountability for Alabama’s school districts. His hobbies are spending time with family, including two grandchildren, hunting, and managing timber. 

DR. SHERRI SAVAGE-Dr. Sherri Savage is the director of School Counseling and Assessment in Jefferson County Schools, where she has served in 1994. She received her B.S. and Ed.S. from Jacksonville State University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Alabama.  She taught for seventeen years in public schools in Alabama and two years at the University of West Alabama.  She teaches a data-based decision making course at UAB.  Her proudest accomplishment is being Migi to her two precious grandchildren.

RHONDA THOMASON-Rhonda Thomason is a National Board Certified educator with over 25 years in public education followed by experience as part of Teaching Tolerance team. She has created widely-used anti-bias and anti-racist professional development and curriculum materials for educators and online audiences. Rhonda is a founding member of the Alabama Safe Schools Coalition and has been actively engaged in safe schools work for over two decades at local, regional, and national levels. She was a coordinator of the National Safe Schools Roundtable and served on the North Texas White House LGBT Summit Steering Committee. Rhonda received the Equality Alabama Education Leadership Award and the Unitarian Universalist Mid-South Social Justice Award.  A member of Alabama ACLU Board and the Human Rights Campaign Welcoming Schools National Advisory Council, Rhonda currently serves as the southern region educational consultant for Welcoming Schools.  She and her husband live in Montgomery, Alabama.

KERRI WILLIAMSON-, National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) Training Director, holds a B.S. in Sociology from Jacksonville State University as well as a Master’s degree in Education.  She has 14 years of experience as a trainer in law-related education, civic education, and delinquency prevention. She is a national and international trainer and is experienced in working with school resource officers, educators, teens, and members of the legal community. She has served as a Training of Trainers instructor in numerous states and has presented internationally.Kerri has conducted school safety trainings with educators and law enforcement officers in Ukraine and throughout the United States.  She has served on the Juvenile-Justice Law-Related Education Committee for Alabama’s Department of Youth Services and in experienced in curriculum development.  She has five years teaching experience and two years of paralegal experience.  She is married to Gill, and has two sons, ages 7 and 5.