Are You a Green Dot?

Local Program Seeks to Teach Teens How to Replace Bullying and Violence with Proactive Behaviors


Susan Sherrard

Silverleaf’s Nick Sullivan speaks to Ms. Sherrard’s 1st block English III class about how to recognize unhealthy relationships on Apr. 20.

Kenzie Stambaugh

You may have seen some flyers around Central Hardin describing Green Dot. If you’re a freshman, you’ve taken a survey asking what you thought Green Dot was. While Green Dot is just getting started more around Central, it’s been well known since 2007. The more green dots we see around Hardin County, the faster we see those “red dots” (bullying, and various forms of violence,) vanish. It is now important that we get every new incoming class Green Dot certified. Here are the highlights. 

Green Dot is a bystander intervention program that was started here in Kentucky. The University of Kentucky conducted a 5-year study that was published in 2017, which showed a significant decrease in domestic violence, sexual assault, and bullying in schools after the Green Dot program was implemented.

Amy Haninen is a prevention specialist and community educator for SilverLeaf services. She is Green Dot Certified in community and high school areas. She’s extremely excited to announce that her goals are to increase the numbers of Green Dot Club, and start the Sidewalk Project. 

Starting with student speaking to the  Radcliff City Council, Amy stated that the “Sidewalk Project” is writing positive messages on the sidewalks of Radcliff. The goal is to visit every city council in the county, and make Hardin county the first green dot county in the state.

“This is so exciting,” Haninen said.“I’m so thrilled to say this. I’m so, so, proud of my students for talking to City Council. I mean, imagine how huge this could be, and how many people would see it, this is so cool.” 

 While there are big outside projects, Amy wants to see more in-school projects as well. Guest speakers were invited to Central Hardin. Starting with science teacher Kimberly Gibson’s classes, Haninen spoke about dating violence, how to intervene if witness a possible violent situation, and overall how to make Central Hardin a safer enviornment for students.

Junior Dylan Fitts was intrigued by the presentations, saying they were useful, well-informed, and well presented. 

I really enjoyed both presentations,” Fitts said. “I was really intrigued by the presentation when Green Dot was talking about being a bystander because there have been many times growing up that I have seen someone being bullied and I didn’t step in because I felt like I didn’t need to get involved, but now that I look back on the times I really wished I would’ve been the bigger person and helped the kid being bullied. I found it helpful because now I know what to do in certain circumstances when I see someone being mentally harassed, bullied, or sexually assaulted and do it the right way.”

Fitts suggested that the program be presented to all freshmen so that they are more aware of how to handle these situations. 

“I’m so thrilled to hear the presentations helped students,” Haninen said. “It’s exactly the goal we were going for. All the survey’s sent out to students all had positive results. It’s rewarding to know that this is a great tool for students.” 

Youth Services Center Coordinator Brendan Chaney explained the negative effect of silence.

“No one wants to be put in that situation, everyone relies on someone else, and another person, and then it’s the domino effect, no one says anything,” Chaney said. 

I sincerely hope any incoming students consider assisting with Green Dot. You and your peers are the solution to change. There will be more for Green Dot in the coming future of Central Hardin. If you would like to get involved please do not hesitate to speak with Brendan Chaney and Mandy Sanders in the Youth Services Center, room 401. Here are some resources you may contact if you or anyone else are in need of immediate help. 

To learn more, please visit: 

Silverleaf- Sexual Trauma Recovery Services  

(270) 234- 9236