Petersburg students share experiences during anti-bullying summit

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Local groups are taking matters into their own hands and trying to stop bullying.

On Tuesday, various groups, including Communities in Schools and the Pull Your Pants Up organization, held an anit-bullying summit at Peabody Middle School in Petersburg.

Hundreds of students in sixth and seventh grade attended. Adults and students at the school were among the speakers who spoke about their experience with bullying.

One sixth grader boldly spoke about being bullied while at school. She said the boy who bullied her about her hair was also sitting in the audience.

“I hope that he recognizes that if the situation was turned around, that he would feel just as bad that I had the moment that he said that to me,” says Asia Anderson, a sixth grader.

There was also Dakota Carreras who said he’s seen his brother get bullied for being gay.

“Keep living life, don’t even let no one bully you to the point where you feel like I can’t deal with this no more,” says Carreras.

These were tough conversations for the young students, but organizers say it was necessary because that’s one of the ways to stop bullying in schools or online. The other way involves parents.

“Always listen to your children, listen to the things that they say and listen to the things that they don’t say,” says Janet Wright, the assistant principal at Peabody Middle school.

“They are more vulnerable because of what they are being exposed to, things that we don’t see that they see. The reason why we have a panel is because we want to listen to them and hear what they have to say to hear their story,” says Hal Miles.

After the event, several students said they hope everyone will work hard to stop bullying.

“I have a little sister and she has a learning disability right now, so I worry about her, about people bullying her, so I would try to protect people just as she was my sister,” says Pharell Kendall, a sixth grader.

Those kids were also asked to sign a pledge, promising they will stay in school and graduate. The organizers plan on having similar anti-bullying events in Richmond.

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