WACO, TX — Bullying is a problem for people of all ages across the world, and Saturday, one Central Texas boxing club decided to do something about it.
"She wanted to consider suicide," Andrea Melendez said.
Melendez's daughter, Lillianna, was being bullied.
"She started getting bullied at school... coming home telling me different things going on that's bothering her, talking about her self esteem, her looks," Melendez added.
Melendez decided to take action. After speaking with the school and getting her daughter in counseling, she heard about Waco Boxing Club's first annual Box Out Bullying class.
"We hear from parents a lot that kids are being bullied, they know kids that are being bullied. It's an epidemic. It was here when I was a kid, it'll be here when I'm a grandfather. Our goal was to help kids understand what bullying is, how to report it, how to deal with it, and ultimately, if they have to if they're physically confronted, how to take care of themselves," Denis Hanley, a volunteer coach at Waco Boxing Club, said.
"I'm not a fighter. I don't fight, you know, and I don't teach my kids to fight. I usually just say walk away," Melendez said.
But, she understands that walking away won't always work, which is why she's thankful Lillianna was able to participate in the class.
"I learned how to self defend myself, and I know what to say: calm down, tell the teacher, tell somebody. Don't keep it inside because it's just gonna bottle up inside," Lillianna Valdez said.
Waco Boxing Club teaches physical defense as the absolute last resort.
"When it comes to that, we want these kids to know some simple maneuvers that can stick with them the rest of their lives that will allow them to defend themselves in case things get really bad," Hanley added.
Be sure to follow Waco Boxing Club on Facebook to stay up to date on future Box Out Bullying classes.