”The proper reaction is to go up to the person who was bullied and say you don’t agree with the bully and you will be there for the person,” Martin said. “For every one bully there are 20 people who care and do not bully.”
Martin said if the students wouldn’t want to go up to the person being bullied, they should tell a staff member. Since being bullied, Martin has gone on to become co-founder of his own business.
”It goes to show bullying doesn’t have to stop you from doing what you want to do,” Martin said. “Bullies can bend you, but they cannot break you. Let those 20 people be your support system.”
Jeff Canady, principal at Lincoln Middle School, said the bullying convocation helps emphasize what the school is already doing.
Teachers at Lincoln Middle School thought the bullying program was effective. Special Education teacher Stephanie Crawford said middle school children seem to have a misconception of what bullying is.
”They think it’s more physical or fighting,” Crawford said. “They don’t realize it’s also emotional.”
Another teacher, Carla Alford, agreed and said the presentation was effective because Martin used his own experience.
”It’s hard to learn from people who have never had that experience,” Alford said.
Martin said his goal is to assist schools in recognizing and acting on bullying. It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students, according to the National Education Association.
Teen Reaction has been presented at several local schools and will continue be presented in Indiana until May 2014.
Schools interested in having the convocation presented can reach Martin at 765-398-2255 or email@example.com. People can visit http://parentalreaction.com/ to find out more.
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her: @PharosAES.