The "Stop Bullying Now" Campaign - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

The "Stop Bullying Now" Campaign

April 23, 2004
Reported by Theresa Schmidt

The 5th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School this week is a grim reminder of the need to stop bullying in schools. A local woman says the school bullying she went through as a child still haunts her--she says it was so bad, she often thought about suicide.

It's hard to imagine how school yard bullying could lead to terrible violence such as Columbine, but some adults who were brutally bullied as children admit-- they can identify with the kind of anger that might have triggered the bloodbath. Berit Dupre of  Lake Charles says bullying she suffered started because she was from Germany. "I cried a lot. I was told that the parents didn't want the kids playing with me. I got blamed for the war. I was called everything from Hitler's daughter to his wife, to his granddaughter. I mean it was just-- it was a horrible, horrible thing."

Plus she says kids made fun of the eye stigma she suffers. "Dancing eyes. That wasn't the worst of it. They called me some other names because of my eyes." Berit says the bullying she endured went from first grade until graduation from Sulphur High in 1976. "I threw my cap up and said, 'Thank God I'm out of prison.'" Berit is married with children and works in a department store. But she says the hurts she suffered have never really gone away.

"Like sometimes I still have nights, where I have nightmares. I see the kids' faces and I hear them, calling me names. It's just something that once they start ingraining it in your brain, it just seems to stay there."

Berit is speaking out with the hope her story will help spare other children from the anguish she went through. She urges adults to stop and prevent bullying. "It's a very big problem. And parents and the teachers and the school system need to address the fact that it needs to be tended to. I mean it needs to be dealt with."

And she urges the children who are victims to talk until somebody truly listens. "There's a lot of kids that commit suicide because of the bullying. Quite a few times in school I contemplated it. I thought about it. It would have been, to me, it would have been so much easier if I was just gone. It just makes you feel so low, that I thought about it a lot."

Berit applauds groups working against bullying. They include broadcasters.  The actor in a public service announcement urges, "If you know someone who's being bullied-- tell somebody. You'll be a hero. And you don't even need a red cape for that."

And the U.S Department of Health and Human Services has a web site for kids and parents.  It plays a hip sounding cartoon & jingle: "Lend a hand!  Take a stand!  Stop bullying now!" And kids can learn from the cartoon bullies and victims, with dialogue that is probably all too common at many schools.  Cartoon bully: "Watch where you're going, freak!" New girl at school: "Sorry." Bully: "What are you apologizing for? Your clumsiness or your sorry outfit." It's estimated that 160 thousand students stay out of school each day due to fear of bullying. 

For more information on how to stop or prevent bullying, click here.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Beyond Skin Deep: What our DNA tells us

    Beyond Skin Deep: What our DNA tells us

    Monday, November 20 2017 11:11 PM EST2017-11-21 04:11:50 GMT

    Have you ever thought about who you are? Not your name, or where you were born, but beyond that. Our DNA can tell us so much about ourselves and now it is easy to find out where our ancestors my have come from. Over the last month, a few of our 7News reporters and anchors have put their own DNA to the test. Not only did they each want to learn more about their family histories, but something deeper was at play. In the news industry, we see the division in the world in our stories, th...

    More >>

    Have you ever thought about who you are? Not your name, or where you were born, but beyond that. Our DNA can tell us so much about ourselves and now it is easy to find out where our ancestors my have come from. Over the last month, a few of our 7News reporters and anchors have put their own DNA to the test. Not only did they each want to learn more about their family histories, but something deeper was at play. In the news industry, we see the division in the world in our stories, th...

    More >>
  • Checking your property tax bill for accuracy

    Checking your property tax bill for accuracy

    Monday, November 20 2017 10:20 PM EST2017-11-21 03:20:28 GMT

    The homestead exemption means homeowners don't pay parish property taxes on the first $75,000 of the value of their residence. A local man complains only half the exemption was applied to his bill. But Calcasieu Assessor Wendy Aguillard says it was a clerical error that happened when he added his wife as an owner of his  home. "We've already corrected that office mistake and she and he will now have full homestead for $7500 together." To tell if you're gett...

    More >>

    The homestead exemption means homeowners don't pay parish property taxes on the first $75,000 of the value of their residence. A local man complains only half the exemption was applied to his bill. But Calcasieu Assessor Wendy Aguillard says it was a clerical error that happened when he added his wife as an owner of his  home. "We've already corrected that office mistake and she and he will now have full homestead for $7500 together." To tell if you're gett...

    More >>
  • Senator John Kennedy talks tax reform

    Senator John Kennedy talks tax reform

    Monday, November 20 2017 10:10 PM EST2017-11-21 03:10:08 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
    Tax cuts that could affect you, and your businesses may finally happen soon.  The House of Representatives recently approved its tax reform bill the same day the Senate finally advanced its plan.  Senator John Kennedy says a vote can be expected by Monday which could ultimately provide $1.5 trillion in tax cuts.   "This is what the tax bill is about...more money in your wallet," said Louisiana Senator John Kennedy.  And that's what Kennedy says h...More >>
    Tax cuts that could affect you, and your businesses may finally happen soon.  The House of Representatives recently approved its tax reform bill the same day the Senate finally advanced its plan.  Senator John Kennedy says a vote can be expected by Monday which could ultimately provide $1.5 trillion in tax cuts.   "This is what the tax bill is about...more money in your wallet," said Louisiana Senator John Kennedy.  And that's what Kennedy says h...More >>
Powered by Frankly