On May 4, 2011, I was able to visit a couple schools in Kilgore, TX. I spoke to over 300 third graders at Chandler Elementary. One thing I learned from that experience is that school age students know what bullying is and how it makes others feel.
Students in elementary school really care about others. I can see on their faces the hurt when I talk about being bullied at school. Some wanted to be on my side. They actually looked like they wanted to give me a hug.
When I walked into the Kilgore Intermediate School hallway I saw a sign hanging that said, “Don’t be a bullydog”. I had to take a picture next to it because it was creative and it’s a constant reminder for students. The school has a process in place where they handle bullying situations in house. The school makes kids face each other and tell each other how the bullying behavior makes them feel.
I’m glad I was able to speak to this age group because this is their last year for some to attend grade school. Next they will have to dodge middle school bullying which is one of the hardest times in my life. For some this is the worst time for bullying that they will have to endure. That’s why it’s important for schools to raise awareness of bullying. Bullying is abuse and the more we speak on the subject, the more aware students and parents will be on the subject. Many feel along when they are bullied and I feel my job is to let them know that I’m going to stand up for them wherever I can.
I feel that I can be a voice for students who are not willing to stand up for themselves. I know what it feels like to be bullied and I don’t want others to feel the pain that I felt. I applaud Kilgore for being proactive in the way they handle bullying behavior.
Thank you also to the state of Texas for adding laws on bullying which protect students and give parents a way out.
Read the bullying speaker press release.