KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Taking a stand against bullying was the goal of an awareness program at Lenoir Community College Friday.
Bullying is something that never seems to go away; at least, that was the case for Lenoir Community College sophomore Nelson White.
“I went to school where I was a minority,” said White. “So going through that and feeling like I didn’t have anyone I could turn to, that was very hard to deal with.”
White attended Friday’s bullying prevention awareness event.
“I think that we need to have some more things like this,” said White. “Not just at the college but in the community as a whole.”
According to the non-profit DoSomething.org, nearly 160,000 teenagers skip school every day due to bullying.
It’s a statistic Lenoir Community College is looking to change.
“Given that this is a place of higher learning, it is incumbent upon us to not only address academic issues but social issues as well,” said Jamal McMillion, a student success advisor at the college.
Courtney Boyette, with Eastpointe MCO does educational programs throughout 11 counties in the area.
“We have a child and even adults who are bullied as well — they end up having developing issues to mental health,” Boyette said. “It can be depression, anxiety, different things, the trauma of it. Or it can lead to substances to self-medicate because of what they are dealing with.”
Boyette said training teachers to better understand the signs of bullying, along with more resources, will make the difference.
For White, that’s what it is all about.
“In the moment, you kind of feel like your world is crushing around you, but now that I know there is help, I can maybe help a kid that was going through the same thing I was going through,” White said.
Boyette said bullying can ultimately lead to severe mental health issues and even suicide.
For more on this important issue, take a look at our special report, “Kids in Crisis.”