Stomp Out Bullying: Movement gains momentum at Marana HS
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -- Students committed to stomp out bullying. It's a movement at Marana High School that's gaining momentum. This is the 2nd year that Marana HS has held its Stomp Out Bullying event -- coinciding with National Stomp Out Bullying Day. And staff said this year it was bigger and better.
Students gathered in the middle of the campus to stomp on a thousand blue balloons -- symbols of solidarity. "Come down to make a commitment to stop out bullying," announced a staff member using a megaphone.
Anti-bullying messages cover the campus -- even in the bathrooms -- and talks include heartbreaking stories of teen suicides.
Most recently, 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick -- the Florida girl who jumped off a building - and plunged to her death. The reason -- Florida police said -- two girls tormented her on Facebook.
And it's those stories that staff use to teach students how to report cyber -- or any type of -- bullying. Jessica Hunt Social Studies Teacher said, "They use the option to use a face picture of that individual page. They can bring that in because if they are being bullied that can be deleted."
A target of bullying since her freshman year -- Senior Hannah Nagelhout said she feels online attacks hurt the most. "For me a lot of the words hurt -- emotionally. It was really hard for me because if someone just punched me I would get a bruise on my face and it goes away. And mean things will stay forever and constantly I'll be thinking about them."
Aspen Peace said she's been bullied since elementary. "I was called a lot of bad names. I knew a lot of cuss words and swear words before the age of 12 because I was verbally bullied. And it happens. It happens a lot," she said.
So this year, she and Aspen Peace created "The Good Club" to help students stand up for themselves. "It's not just you. You're not alone anymore. Everybody is behind you. And those bullies are the minority now," said Pearce.
A thousand Stomp Out Bullying T-Shirts were handed out during the lunchtime event. And the school is hoping to get funding for more next year.
High school staff says more students are reporting bullying and the number of severe bullying incidents has dropped. The principal told KGUN9 that consequences can be severe when students go too far.