New ways to curb bullying
It's a deadly problem that's claiming a growing number of children's lives. But, tackling the issue of bullying is almost as delicate as the problem itself. That's why local educators, youth leaders, parents and anyone who works with children spent their Saturday brainstorming new ideas.
"I've been called fat my entire life," said Christian Holbrook.
Christian is 24 now, but life as a kid growing up the target of constant bullying over his weight took its toll. But, instead of seeking help, he suffered in silence.
"When you are a kid being bullied and you go to a parent or you go to a teacher, they're going to go the principal and sit you down with that kid in the same room with that kid and talk it out he's just going to pick on you more and it really is a vicious cycle," he said.
Christopher Eaves knows that terror on both ends. He was the victim of bullying and then became a bully.
He's one of the featured guests at this Bullying Prevention Conference. But, rather than just talk about his traumatizing experiences, he re-enacts them in his one-man show called Bullseye.
It's using a strategy of addressing a tough topic through theater. Unfortunately, there have been far too many highly publicized stories in the national news about young people bullied--to death.
Charlene Witka shares that heavy burden of victims. She oversees a group at Cathedral High School lead by bully victims and bullies.
"They hope no one else has to experience what they experienced and we share our stories together," said Charlene.
One fact that will make your head spin, not only do victims of bullying need advocates, but so do bullies.
"The person who is bullying needs to understand the effects of what this person is feeling," said Charlene.
It's an effort Christian hopes will make a difference for the future.
Saturday's conference was sponsored by Children's Resource Group. The event wraps up with a family night of entertainment starting at 8 p.m. Saturday night at the Indiana Convention Center. Entertainment includes the Indianapolis Childrens Choir, Youth Actor's Theater and ACT Out.