Programs aims to banish bullying in Duval County

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As federal investigators look into the motive for the high school stabbings in Pennsylvania, a local group is trying to put an end to some alarming findings in Duval County Schools.

According to the annual youth survey, since 2009, more kids in Duval's high schools say they've been the victims of bullying, and more local children say they have considered or attempted suicide.

In 2009, 33 percent of students say they were bullied in school. Today, that number is up to 42.1 percent.

One 13-year-old St. Pius student says he's fallen victim to bullying.

"In 5th grade, I used to get bullied about my height, my weight and my skin color," said Tyriq.

In the last two years, he's lost 35 pounds and he's found a new-found confidence against bullies. The program, Strengthening Our Students or SOS, works with Duval county schools to promote change.

Speaker Marc Dickerson says cyber bullying is the reason for the up-tick in school bullying.

"Kids are really, really involved with the Internet with Twitter and Facebook and things like that," said Dickerson. "And, they kind of find their own personality and their own identity through the internet and its easy to attack."

Extreme attacks of bullying can lead to serious violence, like the stabbing at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. The student arrested, Alex Hribal, says he was bullied.

As for Tyriq, he took a thing or two away from the bullying seminar and he has a message to share about bullying:

"Stop! Don't do it. It's nothing good for the soul and no good comes from it."


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