Motorcycle groups team up at anti-bullying event - KXXV Central Texas News Now


Motorcycle groups team up at anti-bullying event

by Adam Shear

NOLANVILLE - Motorcycle riders drove through Belton, Harker Heights, Killeen, and Nolanville Saturday to spread the message that bullying has no place in Central Texas schools.

Bikers from four different Bell County groups embarked from Cavazos Elementary School at around 10:00 a.m. to call attention to school bullying. Their mission was to spread a message to parents about ending an issue that has resulted in some kids committing suicide.

"Maybe a parent didn't realize the symptoms or the signs. The whole ride is to bring awareness on the issue," said Isabel Perez, Cavazos Elementary parent liaison. "We need to let our kids know that there are other alternatives out there than doing what a lot of them have been doing."

Denita Shoptaw, a student at Killeen High School, spoke to riders about her own personal struggles as a student who was taunted. She hopes that events like this will show more young victims to stand up to those who torment them.

"It's very heartwarming to know that people care and will go to such extents to do this," said Shoptaw. "[Bullying] is happening in all the schools and it's especially happening in the high schools. Very little has been done to stop it and I would like something to be done."

Riders made stops throughout Bell County to educate listeners and tell them what they can do to prevent bullying.

"The kids need to let the parents know they're being bullied because we send our kids to school and expect them to have a comfortable learning environment," said Michael Rhoden, of the Blue Knights motorcycle group. "There's just no place in schools for bullying."

Rhoden, who also works for the Belton Police Department, says that bullying has become such a widespread issue that police now encourage victims to take legal action when needed.

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