October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time to shed light on a problem that is affecting so many of our nation's children.
Bullying in schools has always been a problem and one that was made worse by social media and cyberbullying.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2019 over 22 percent of students reported being bullied in school and it’s not something that is going away.
”There’s going to be things that are not nice. There's going to be things that rise to the level of harassment and there will be times where things rise up to the level of bullying,” said Benjamin Hess, assistant principal at Union Grove Middle School in Killeen.
According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, in 2019 over 35 percent of students reported being cyberbullied in their lifetime.
It is a problem that educators say has to be approached on a community-wide level if there is going to change.
”I think it’s through that communication and through the teaching pieces with our students and working with our parents, that we help eliminate those concerns,” said Hess.
Getting the community involved is exactly what Copperas Cove seventh-grader, Dorianna Gilbert, is trying to do through a decorating contest that involves local businesses and schools decorating for antibullying awareness.
”I understand that bullying is a hard topic to talk about, so I want to make it so we can all come together and talk about it but like, make it fun,” said Gilbert.
Gilbert said that part of her inspiration for the contest was remembering the times she was bullied in school.
”I remember those times and how I felt, and I see what people go through every day and I want to put a stop to it,” said Gilbert.
Gilbert also has some advice for her fellow students out there that might be dealing with bullies.
”If you’re getting bullied, just think about all the good times that you have and all the people that actually love you. Don't think about the bully,” said Gilbert.
Educators are urging parents to talk to their kids if they think their child might be getting bullied and to report it to the school if they are.