HAVELOCK, Craven County — National studies show bullying affects more than one out of every five students. Now, schools in our area are doing what they can to stop it by teaching students more about the effects of bullying.
Havelock Middle School students spent some time in the gym on Thursday morning to learn how they can prevent bullying and stop it from ever happening in the first place.
"Some of them here have actually admitted that they have been the victim of bullying," probation officer Michelle Fisher said. "Some even said they were the bully."
Students heard from probation officers, school resource officers and community leaders about what bullying is, how it could ruin their lives and how to stop it when they see it.
"I have seen many people get bullied online and in the school," eighth grader Trinity Hill said. "It makes me very sad to see that people actually get bullied and that it happens."
Trinity hopes the session helps her classmates see the need for a change.
"I think we all just need to realize that it's not okay," she said.
According to national studies, 28 percent of middle and high schoolers have experienced bullying. This makes those students three times more likely to take their own life.
"There is so many students committing suicide because it started first with verbal and then it escalated," Fisher said. "They reach a point that they don't want to come to school. They don't even want to come out of their room and a lot of times, parents do not know why that is happening to them."
Craven County Schools leaders want these kids to learn from Thursday's assembly. Staff at Havelock Middle plan to follow up with students throughout the year to make sure they remember what they were taught.
"We watched this video where this girl was getting bullied and they stood up for her," Trinity said. "Now I know that when I see bullying I can stand up for that person or tell and adult and make sure that never happens again."