Greensburg billboard pushes anti-bullying message

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Jeremy Brilliant/Eyewitness News

Greensburg - A billboard went up Wednesday to bring awareness to bullying in schools.

The group "Angels and Doves" is putting the advertisement in Greensburg, where a high school student recently took his own life after an apparent case of bullying. Friends say Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old freshman at Greensburg High School, was tormented for years by bullies, some of whom questioned his sexual orientation.

The billboard stands on Main Street in Greensburg.

"I don't think it's going to hurt anything," Greensburg senior Ellen Weigel said. "I think it's probably what the community needs right now."

Sophomore Shine Duncan said, "It was a pretty serious thing and people will remember it.  By seeing that sign it will remind people of what happened."

"Angels and Doves" offers an anti-bullying program to schools. It hopes to add billboards across the country and start programs for schools nationwide.

The group's Kim Harvey said she hopes the billboard will send a message to potential bullies. 

"I hope they think to themselves, 'Good, someone is doing something about bullying and maybe we won't see any more tragedies," she said.

In the days following the tragedy, the superintendent of Greensburg Schools initiated a school-community action plan to try to prevent bullying from happening. Staff will be trained using a nationally recognized anti-bullying program.  An advisory committee will be formed including students, parents, teachers, counselors and mental health experts, and a new counselor position will be created to deal solely with students' social and psychological issues.  

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More resources:

Stop Bullying Now - This program features exercises and lessons for children.

Teaching Tolerance - Resources for teachers or parents.

Bullies2Buddies - A psychological approach.