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Marlon Walker Hired as SAY Counselor

Prior to Walker's hiring, the BHS SAY counselor position was unfilled for 148 days.

Photo+by+Joey+Lewis
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Marlon Walker Hired as SAY Counselor

Photo by Joey Lewis

Photo by Joey Lewis

Photo by Joey Lewis

Photo by Joey Lewis

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Marlon Walker, a University of Akron graduate, joined Bellefaire JCB as the BHS and BMS SAY counselor on Feb. 12.

Prior to Walker’s hiring, the BHS SAY counselor position was unfilled for 148 days.

Former SAY counselor Mallory Molls left in September for another job.

According to an email introducing Walker, a SAY counselor, or Social Advocate for Youth counselor, “helps support parents and schools guide teens through challenging times. SAY is a grant-funded program that educates and empowers teens to minimize risky behavior while making healthy/good choices.”

“I’m here for support and to help [students] through difficult situations,” Walker said.

The job description is broad in order to accommodate any issues a student may be having. Though he is not a therapist, Walker is available to help students work through any problems in school or at home in a healthy way.

Walker is at the high school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and at the middle school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Though he is not a therapist, Walker is available to help students work through any problems in school or at home in a healthy way.”

Walker also wants to bring the student body together and create a community culture inside the school. Part of the way he wants to accomplish this is by establishing a group called Bison United Students (BUS), which will help all students work on relationship building between groups found within the school and create harmony among students.

Historically, the SAY counselor has been a member of the staff to whom students feel comfortable disclosing issues with sexual assault in the school. A number of girls have expressed discomfort with disclosing to a male member of staff, so it will be interesting to see in the future if that role of being a “confidant” for students shifts to another member of the staff or if Walker will be able to fill the shoes of former SAY counselor Mallory Molls.

Walker hopes to address the problem of sexual harassment on the front end by educating students on issues of consent. He hopes that students will come to talk with him about any issues that they might have. However, when asked, he did not respond directly to the question of how the role of gender may affect the way he does his job.

Walker emphasizes that it is important to know that any students that meets with him have the right to confidentiality, with the exception of crimes he is mandated to report.

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Marlon Walker Hired as SAY Counselor