PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – What do you do as a parent when your child is bullied at school?
Monday morning a group of parents rallied together to stand up and speak out against bullying. They met on the corner of Highway 98 and Nautilus Street to hold signs decorated with anti-bullying slogans.
“When your kid tells you on Sunday night that he doesn’t want to go back to school,” said mother Kelli Martin. “It breaks your heart.”
“Several of the kids that I’ve talked to don’t even want to come to school,” explained another rally attendee, Sani Watson. “They’re afraid to come to school. They’re afraid to say anything because the kids have said if you say anything we’re going to beat you up.”
According to those gathered on the street corner, the aim of Monday’s rally was to raise awareness and pressure the district to take action. Kelli Martin says one solution is to add more monitors to classrooms and hallways, “because that’s when the bullying is being done the most, when the teacher isn’t around to see it.”
Martin says her child’s school’s anti-bullying response isn’t completely ineffective, but it needs to be improved.
“Recently I had to go to an administrator for a bullying problem,” explained Martin. “I was very happy with the way it was taken care of. So it’s not all bad, They just need to add more steps and more security and more ways to make the kids be monitored.”
Those who attended Monday’s rally said they will address the bullying issue at an upcoming school board meeting.