COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) It happens every day. And, it may be happening to a child you love.
Students are bullied in the classroom, in the hallways – even in the restroom.
As a result many children skip class. And when it gets too much to take, some children consider taking their own life.
When drama teacher Chelsea Petty saw a need in her school, she used what she knew the best to bring about some essential change.
“This isn’t just a play. This is next year. We’re coming in next year and we’re saying this is going to change. It’s my responsibility as a student here to treat others with respect, to be able to step up and say ‘that’s not okay to do that’ and to be a difference in their school.”
Astounding statistics show that almost every child is bullied at some point in their life. The Center of Disease Control reports over 4,000 successful suicides in school aged children every year, most of these due to some form of abuse in the classroom.
“If you just found out that someone that you bullied yesterday killed themselves last night you wouldn’t want to be the cause of that. You would say ‘I shouldn’t have done that’ but its too late now,” said student Ashton Husband.
“When I was little I’d go home and I didn’t want to go back to school the next day because it got so bad,” said Aaron Gavin.
The play performed by students at CMS focused on building friendships off of mutual respect.
Instead of making jokes at someone’s expense, they were encouraged to really think about how words affect someone’s feelings.
“I want them to be able to say I can respect other people and gain their respect that way,” said Petty.
Vamiya Singleton wants her classmates to learn an important lesson from today’s play.
“I think they can get a better attitude in their heads so that they can change their thoughts and just watch themselves and what they do,” she said.
Students who are victims of bullying are encouraged to talk to a teacher, their pastor, or another responsible adult.