Fighting against bullying
Whether on the school bus, playground or in the classroom, experts say 90 percent of students are bullied between 4th and 8th grade.
Manhattan 9th grader, Brianna G, is working to prevent that. She remembers being tormented throughout elements school because she was so small. Brianna says, "everybody used to pull my hair, call me names."
She hated the way bullying made her feel. "It made me feel down because one minute everybody would talk to me and the next minute no one would talk to me", Brianna says. She tried to fit in, but says kids still picked on her.
New York lawmakers say stories like Brianna's are very common which is why they passed the state's first anti-bullying law. It went into effect on July 1, 2012. Lawmakers hope it will make schools safe from discrimination, bullying and harassment.
The new law requires teachers and administrators report all incidents of bullying to the state's education department.
Brianna now volunteers with Project Bully Free Zone where she educates others about the long lasting scars, bullying can leave behind.
Executive director of the Project Bully Free Zone, Traciana Graves, says every half hour someone attempts suicide because they're bullied. She says, "some of them are as young as five and tell me I don't want to go to school anymore. I want to hang myself. So bullying takes our life."
Graves warns the anti-bullying law isn't enough. "It can't just be left to the school", she says. Graves advises parents to openly talk to their children about bullied, If parents need help, she suggests they go online and find a local anti-bullying group.
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