Making A Stand Against Bullying
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
April 30, 2012 10:23 PM
The stories that tend to have the most impact when it comes to bullying are often the most tragic.
And Sunday at the South Dakota Civil Rights Conference those who are trying to take a stand against bullying continue to push for equality.
Thirteen million students are bullied every year according to the makers of the movie 'Bully.'
And Lee Hirsch the director of the film says no matter where you live or who you are, bullying can affect you.
"It doesn’t discriminate from small cities in the Mid-West to small towns to big cities to the wealthiest schools to the poorest schools,” said Hirsch.
Before the movie, speakers told emotional tales of bullying going way too far.
Judy Shepard is the mother of Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming boy who was murdered because of his sexuality.
Shepard says, you love who you love, and that's just the way it is.
U.S. Attorney's officials shared similar horror stories happening all around the country.
One was about a man in Mississippi who was run over by a truck, simply because of the color of his skin.
“I think gatherings like this get people really focused. I think it gives them the opportunity to challenge maybe change their own preconceptions and move forward,” said Hirsch.
The 90-minute flick that capped off the night brought a lot of attention to an ongoing problem and had some parents frustrated.
“I don't want to send my kid to school now,” said Sheldon Kierstead.
Another parent said, “you need to see it with your kids and then sit down and talk about it.”
“The teachers and principals just sweeping it under the rug and not doing nothing about it. What are they getting paid for?” questioned Kiersread.
A problem that will persist in schools for years to come. But, people at the South Dakota Civil Rights conference look to make a stand against a problem that affects so many.
For more on bullying, click here.