Updated 05/17/2012 09:05 PM
Country music singer and District Attorney host anti-bullying rally
Hundreds of Liberty School District students are taking a stand against bullying with the help of a country music singer. YNN’s Venise Toussaint has the story.
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SULLIVAN COUNTY, N.Y. -- With country music star Matt Kennon singing his hit song “You Had To Pick On Me,” hundreds of Liberty School District students take a stand against bullying.
“I think people bully because they feel like they need to bring themselves up by knocking others down,” said Liberty High School sophomore Melissa Symanski.
Decked out in anti-bullying t-shirts, students from kindergarten through 12th grade attended the rally at Liberty High School. Some studies estimate 85 percent of children witness bullying, too often standing by, watching or laughing rather than reporting the incident to adults.
“People shouldn’t just deal with it. They should talk to teachers or get together with friends,” said sophomore Mery Kampos.
All of the students took a pledge against bullying, vowing not to bully others, to include students who are left out and to tell an adult when a student is being bullied.
“I'm taking the message straight to the kids, the people who are directly affected by bullying,” said country music artist Matt Kennon.
Kennon, who is on a multi-city anti-bullying tour, says his work was inspired by a personal encounter with a child who was being bullied.
“He was crying his eyes out. Walked up to him asked him what was the matter. He said he didn’t have any friends and I said, dang, if that’s the case, you got one now,” Kennon said.
During the rally, Sullivan County District Attorney Jim Farrell spoke to students about the correlation between bullying and the criminal justice system, saying 60 percent of bullies have a felony records by the age of 23.
“We have to do is stop it now before these kids end up in the criminal justice system in a state penitentiary,” Farrell said.