Students and parents rally against bullying in schools - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Students and parents rally against bullying in schools

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Middle school is not supposed to be a painful time in a student's life, but that's been life everyday for Makayla Anderson. 

She said she's ready to take a stand, and stand up for all kids who are being bullied.

"If I have to go through this, then no one else should," said Makayla. 

She is like any other 8th grader.  She loves to hang out with her friends and family, but it's something else that Makayla has in common with other kids that has her holding a sign outside of Elkview Middle School.

Amanda Anderson is Makayla's mom.  She said, "I feel like we need to stand up and we need to show them that we have a voice as well as them and we will stand with them no matter what happens."

Anderson says the problem is that the school's anti-bullying policy is not being enforced. Her daughter Makayla says just going to school is a painful experience and has been for two long years.

"It's hard just waking up every morning and thinking what's going to come next," said Makayla. 

Tonya Barnett-Huff works for a non-profit organization called Bully Free West Virginia. She says, since November 12th, her organization has had six calls about different cases of bullying at Elkview Middle School. 

Barnett Huff said, "A lot of times people aren't reporting.  So to get that many calls, especially in that short amount of time, that is high.  Usually we get one a month from one general area.  To get that many from one particular school, that tells us there are some major issues,"

By the end of the rally, these kids, along with Makayla, wanted their message for bullies and their victims to be heard loud and clear.

West Virginia has a Safe School's Help line.  It's a 24 hour, toll free number assigned for all of the mountain state.

When you call this number, you're speaking to an actual person who will keep your identity confidential.

You can call to report violence, threats, weapons in schools, or sexual harassment.  Anyone is welcome to call, it's not just limited to students.

That number is 1-866-723-3982, or 1-866-SAFEWVA.