WTVO/WQRF - School is just around the corner, but one Stateline parent wants to make it known that bullying will not be tolerated. A Barbeque was held in Durand on Sunday afternoon, to shed light on what many young students have to go through.
Dozens of parents and their children joined together in the name of anti-bullying. The event was held to support the children and students in their efforts to stand up to the bullies to want to tear them down. Event organizer, Amber McGregory put her foot down after her own children were bullied.
"Couple of my kids have gotten bullied," said McGregory. "And a couple other ones that I know got bullied and that was enough. It's time to make an action that is positive instead of negative all the time."
In a day where kids and teens have smartphones and technology, bullies can now use social media and messaging to attack from behind computer screens. In some situations, lives are lost because of the great deal of emotional pain victim's suffer.
Parents like Mallery Peterson, and other activists want the victims to know there is a way to handle bullying.
"My daughter expresses when she's been bullied," said Peterson. "I just can't imagine a kid having that much stress in their life, that they would actually want to hurt themselves, in order to get away from it all."
A parent of four and a sixth grade teacher in Durand, Jennifer Roberts, says victims need to stand up and speak out.
"I try to teach the victim, the child who is being bullied and how to address it with the bully," said Roberts. "The minute that you have an adult that steps in, it takes the power away from the child. The minute the adult walks away, that child gets bullied again."
There are things that parents can do too by teaching kids to use "I feel" statements against bullies that address the issue in an assertive way.
"Just be there for your kids," said McGregory. "Listen, pay attention to the changes and attitudes and personality and let them know that you're going to be there for them."
McGregory does have plans to make the barbeque an annual event for anti-bullying awareness. Visit the Facebook page, to get involved with the movement.
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