RINCON, GA- Effingham County hosted its first “Defend Against School Bullying” event on Friday evening.

The YMCA partnered with Pooler Karate, Rincon Police Department and Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department to help prevent and raise awareness of bullying. The event was designed to provide parents and children with realistic, practical resources in the event of in-person or cyber bullying.

“If your child no longer wants to get out of bed and loses interest, you know, okay, that’s not normal for my child,” said Amy Forbes, a grandmother who attended the seminar with her grandchildren.

Parents and grandchildren, such as Forbes, learned how to monitor different apps on social media, such as snapchat and instagram, in an effort to prevent cyber bullying.

“You can limit their phone access to different programs, you can restrict security on Facebook and other social media and by having passwords. I know kids probably feel like you’re invading their privacy, but it’s actually for their safety,” said Corporal Charley Puente of Metro P-D.

Children also practiced self defense moves with Karate Master Carson Fortner, not to condone violence but to instill confidence. “I think it’s important to see different options from parents who have been through stuff like this, and people like myself who have seen kids being bullied just to no end and no confidence in themselves, and things like this will help them lift their head up and move forward,” said Fortner.

This event stressed the importance of parents and children communicating with one another to tackle bullying.