Planet Fitness is opening a mini-gym for DeKalb County tenagers . 
Photo: Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Planet Fitness
Photo: Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness opening mini gym at DeKalb Boys & Girls Club 

Planet Fitness is hoping to get DeKalb County teenagers physically fit in a positive way. 

The popular gym chain is opening a mini fitness center within the Salvation Army Atlanta Peachcrest Boys & Girls Club on 3500 Sherrydale Lane in Decatur. It will be the chain’s first “Mini Judgment Free Zone” in the metro Atlanta area. 

The new facility was built by local Planet Fitness staff and will provide teens the ability to work out in a safe, neutral place, according to a news release. 

The new gym is a part of Planet Fitness’ national “The Judgment Free Generation” initiative, which works to combat bullying among youth. 

RELATED|Charges dropped against Cobb teen who fought back after bullying

MORE|More than 64,000 Ga. middle, high schoolers report being bullied

ALSO| DeKalb hopes to fight chronic disease among blacks with new grant

More than a third of the schools in Georgia teaching middle and high school students told the state they didn’t discipline any students for bullying in the 2017-18 school year, according to a Channel 2 Action News investigation

At those same schools, more than 16,000 students say they were bullied at least three times in just one month, according to health surveys. And 8,000 said they were bullied many times, or every day.

In DeKalb County, Lithonia Middle School reported an 18 percent bullying rate, the highest among the schools surveyed in the county, according to the annual Georgia Health Survey. Elementary schools were not a part of the survey. 

The gym will celebrate its opening Nov. 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. with special guest Atlanta Hawks’ mascot, Harry the Hawk, who will take pictures with the children. 

In other news:

For Channel 2 anchor Sophia Choi, reporting on bullying is personal.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.