Bullying is nothing new, unfortunately. Some of you have been bullied, or maybe you saw it growing up.
Recently, the devastating effects of bullying and cyberbullying have surfaced on social media. Just this week a teen tried to take her life on Facebook Live.
A local 10-year-old who's been both a victim and a bully tells 10News that the hatefulness has to stop.
“It started with clothing choices that I had. They started calling me names, and started touching me, pushing, hitting, stuff like that,” says 10-year-old Izabel.
The fourth grader says her bus ride to school the past month became a daily trip of torture because of bullies.
“I was just keeping it to myself. It's going to lead to worse things happening. I think I need to tell somebody,” Izabel says.
She told her counselor, and then her mom, Erica Hudman.
“It's a lot. It really is a lot. To me she's young, and shouldn't be experiencing the stuff already. Obviously it's here, even when they're so young,” says Hudman.
“Now, you’re going to make me cry,” Izabel says to her mom.
“As a parent, we can't fix it. We try to give her advice how to handle it,” Hudman says.
The 10-year-old also learned from the counselor that she had unknowingly been bullying another girl.
“I wasn't understanding that I was bullying the girl. I was kind of teasing her, and she was laughing about it. When it came down to it, I actually found out that I was bullying the girl,” Izabel says.
“She wrote an apology letter to her and gave it to her the next day. Now, she sticks up for the little girl if she sees people are being ugly to her,” Hudman says.
“This is something that has plagued our children and our communities,” says Angelina Adorno, Child and Family Safety Advocate for the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.
The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is rallying parents and students together this weekend to “Teach Kids How to Care.”
“Hey, that to me looks like bullying. That's not right what those girls say about you. Let me go to the guidance counselor. That's all it takes,” says Adorno.
It's why Izabel will be sharing what she's learned about bullying and being bullied at the event.
“If you're being bullied and it comes down to you’re like this is getting really, really bad, you need to go get help at least tell somebody,” says Izabel.
“I'm proud of her,” Izabel’s mom says.
Something we can all learn from Izabel -- even if you think you're just joking around, words can hurt.
Adorno tells 10News that one out of four kids say they've been bullied by another child, and one out of five admit they've been a bully.
The “Teach Kids How to Care” event is Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m. at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 2300 North Oregon Ave. Tampa, FL 33607. The event takes place in the gymnasium. It’s free. Participants do not need to register.
The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay says the side effects of bullying can range from difficulty finding friends, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts or attempts.
What they hope people take away from the event: there is help and hope.
Before reaching the point of the Georgia teen trying to commit suicide, help is available. You can reach the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay by calling 211.
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