Big Spring Junior High Addressing Bullies

by Anayeli Ruiz 
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - More and more everyday, you hear about kids being bullied in school or online and it's happening in West Texas. One Big Spring School is trying to put a stop to it.

"I was bullied because of my size and I'm still bullied," one Junior High Student, said.

Students and teachers of the Big Spring Junior High wanted to start off the school year in a different way. They wanted to rid their school of bullies for good.

"At our school bullying was pretty bad," Junior High Student, Mariah McIntosh, said.

They formed a group called "Names Hurt Too" to help stop bullying.

"It's just to help dealing with issues rather than the bully getting in trouble. We got to teach kids if you are called names, how do you deal with it, how do you deal with that emotionally and with bystanders how do you stop someone," Junior High School Counselor, Kristi Fontana, said.

In this group, they help empower kids and they give them tools on how to help other kids that are being bullied.

"A lot of the kids feel comfortable coming to us, telling us about stuff that's going on with them so we can tell the teachers," McIntosh said.

Throughout this school year alone, they have been able to help reduce the number of bullying issues going on in their school.

"It's helped. It's cut down on the number of fights and arguments in our school. At the beginning of the year, there was almost a fight every day," McIntosh said.

Since then, they have gone to other schools to help spread the message and teach other students how to deal with bullying.

On Friday, they reached out to community leaders. They shared their experiences on how they were bullied and how they are trying to stop that cycle.

"I was bullied when I was younger. I just don't want the kids to go through what I had to when I was younger," Junior High Student, Charlie Boling, said.

Adults were allowed to ask questions and hear first hand from the kids what it feels like to be bullied and now these students and teachers hope that parents and the community will see how important it is to teach kids about bullying.

"Parents need to get involved, they can do a lot more. They can look see what's going on outside of school. A lot of times they need to address their kids. A lot of times as parents we think our kids don't say stuff but they probably do," Fontana said.

Students next year hope to continue with the program and try to help with the bullying at other schools.