Group wants to see more done about bullying

November 17, 2010 12:20:03 AM PST
There is a push in the South Bay to do more to address rampant bullying in schools. Several teens spoke publicly about their personal experiences of being abused at a community meeting at the Cambrian Park United Methodist Church in San Jose.

"The kids put notes in my PE locker calling me a whore, saying I was retarded, and saying to home back where I belong," high school student Mycaela Avila-Terra said.

"Kids from school were posting that I was worthless and not wanted around," former high school student Ashley Garnica said.

One by one, San Jose area students stood up and shared their stories. Bullying is a nationwide epidemic where one in seven high scholars considers suicide as an escape from bullying. More than 200 people attended the event.

Ann Brownell's daughter is one of them.

"My daughter Amanda tried to commit suicide because she was being bullied at school," Brownell said.

Amanda was a junior at Del Mar High School in San Jose in 2008. One month before her suicide attempt, Amanda got 3,500 harassing text messages from classmates.

Brownell wants school districts to take bullying seriously and to take action.

"Find out how they're really feeling, survey the students, their teachers and their parents," she said.

The non-profit group People Acting in Community Together (PACT) is demanding the same. They gathered Tuesday so that district and city leaders could hear firsthand accounts of the bullying currently going on in schools.

Many victims say they try to get help from school staffers but are unsuccessful.

"It's distressing to hear students say adults walked by," Campbell Union High School District Superintendent Rhonda Farber said.

Farber promises change will come. PACT is giving her and others on the panel five months to prove it.


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