Updated 05/21/2012 07:14 PM
Raising bullying awareness
It's an issue that extends beyond the classroom as students throughout the country fight against bullying. It's a fight students in Watertown tackled head-on Monday. Our Amanda Kelley has more on the efforts of hundreds to combat an issue that's putting students to the test nationwide.
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- Messages of love, words of hope, all to raise awareness. Watertown High students, along with community members, battled against bullying Monday after losing one of their own students to suicide.
Organizer Patrick Fleming said, "What we're looking to do is we want to create awareness, we don't want people to be depressed. We don't want people to do things that are going to negatively going to impact their lives."
Last week 18-year-old Watertown High School student Erin Foley took her own life. Her friends and family believe bullying played a role. Now hundreds are rallying to hopefully teach an important lesson.
Copenhagen resident Andrea Jackson said, "To show that bullying really does hurt and that words do cut deep and they really do hurt. Even if it's not physically bullying, emotionally bullying can really hurt somebody."
Fleming said, "We get taught when we are little, treat others the way you want to be treated and a lot of us lost that along the way."
Erin's family also hopes that parents take away an important message from the day’s protest and learn when and where to get help for their child before it's too late.
Erin's father Paul Foley said, "Look for the resources that are out there that I missed."
As the community stood hand in hand to remember Erin Monday morning, the Foley family said they were overwhelmed with support.
"It gives me hope that somewhere some child is going through same thing Erin went through and they can see that they're not alone. There's people and there's help," he said.
They hope all students realize there's always someone to turn to when times get tough and that suicide is never the answer.
The Watertown Superintendent could not be reached for comment about Monday's rally.