Greensboro, NC -- Bullying is a harsh reality for many students. Some Triad students who have been victims of bullying are using their experiences to empower other students and try to end it.
"I had kids one time rip books out of my locker. They would call my house in the middle of the night, tell me I would never be anything," said Kameron Hardy, a high school student.
"When I was younger I was bullied," said Omar Ramirez, also a high school student. "It was very, very sad. It made me sad. It made me mad that people would take time out of their day to make somebody else feel bad."
Kameron and Omar are determined to make a change in their schools. They participated in an anti-bullying workshop conducted by the National Conference for Community and Justice of the Piedmont Triad.
"What better agents for change than those students that come out and say no longer in our schools will we tolerate places where people feel unsafe or not welcome," said Susan Feit, Executive Director of NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad. "Not in our schools. We will not stand idly by while this is gripping our nation."
Omar and Kameron and dedicated to making a difference.
"Probably start a campaign and educate the student body of how bullying affects students and the hazards that it has on them," said Omar.
Kameron said, "Now when somebody else goes through that, I can help them or I can be the one that says, 'stop, you shouldn't do that.'"
A national study recently released showed the results of the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire, which has been administered to more than half a million students.
Nearly 17% of the students said they had been bullied 2-3 times a month or more. Of the kids who said they had been bullied, 39% of girls and 46% of boys said the bullying lasted for a year or longer.
"I would think it is in every single school and every class," said Elizabeth Atkinson, a licensed professional counselor. She has worked with kids, and parents of kids, who have been victims of bullying, and even cyber bullying.
"It's the eyes behind, rolling behind the teachers, the intentional meanness or rudeness and it starts but then it just doesn't stop and so there's no relief during the day," she said.
Parents' involvement is crucial.
"This is an adult issue, this is not something the children should be handling," said Atkinson. "If the parents handle things appropriately and stand in that gap, more than likely the children will be fine. They do need to see a therapist especially if they're shut down."
Olweus Bullying Prevention Program website: