Rallying around kids
By Idelle Kerzner Post-Tribune correspondent May 1, 2013 2:46PM
Gisele Jones of Gary videotapes the performance of Emerson Dance Troup during the anti-bullying rally held at the Gary YMCA in Gary on Saturday April 21, 2013. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Theresa Martin is worried about her 12-year-old son.
Last year, he was attacked at school. With tears in her voice, Theresa shares her memories. “Four boys cornered my son in the bathroom. Three were beating on him and one was recording it,” she said.
He is in therapy and still has nightmares. But fate turned on the youngster again.
While he was walking in his neighborhood, a man knocked him to the ground and took his necklace.
The above incidents are what brought Theresa and 60 other concerned citizens to an anti-bullying rally organized by 18-year-old Gary resident Brytnie Jones.
“I organized the rally because I see a lot of bullying in schools,” Jones said. “A lot of times it is swept under the rug and I felt as a teenager I wanted to bring it to the light and do something positive.”
In between poetry readings, dance performances, discussions and a presentation from motivational speaker Darwin Kenney, the question of how to deal with the problem was brought to the forefront.
“What we need to do is to start at home,” Kenney said. “Kids are bullying for reasons and they are hurting for reasons. As parents we are not paying attention to our children. The bully turns to bullying to make themselves feel better.”
“I believe there are some kids afraid to go to school,” Jones remarked. “They withdraw into themselves physically and emotionally.”
Teacher and Gary resident Nora Glenn attended the rally.
“I think that some teachers do whatever they can,” Glenn said. “Until the bullies are put out of business, we’re all liable. The bullied cannot be further antagonized by adults not backing up a ‘no tolerance’ bullying policy.”
Jones said she hopes to orchestrate another anti-bullying rally next year.