KPLC special series: The trauma of bullying - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

KPLC special series: The trauma of bullying

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Bullying is at the forefront in today's society. KPLC's Holly Carter is taking an in-depth look at bullying right here in Calcasieu Parish.

Two weeks ago, she introduced us to bullying victim Tanner Hantz, and now, we meet his sister.

She's like any other ninth grade student. She loves to sing and play basketball.

"Her personality is awesome," said Susie Hantz, Callie Lyons's mother. "She loves to sing. She's constantly making us laugh, that's for sure." 

But her personality doesn't always shine through. Bullying started for Callie two years ago.

"They call me names," said Callie. "I got pushed against the locker one time by one of them."

"It was back in seventh grade," said Susie. "The name calling and everything. She came home like really depressed, grades were getting bad and everything, in and out of the hospital."

Callie says she thinks she's bullied because she's different than everyone else.

"It makes me feel unnormal when they do that," said Callie. "I feel like I don't fit in anywheres."

Her family didn't know what to do.

"We just dealt with it, her in and out of the hospital," said Susie. "The way she would take care of it, she would cut herself or threaten to kill herself and stuff like that. When it started at this last school they're at, that's when I finally got tired of it."

Callie's self esteem plummeted when the bullying continued.

"She got really, really upset one day after school," said Susie. "I guess she brought home her emotions and everything, and she just took off down the road and laid in the middle of it. It hurts. At one point in time, they're like really, really happy, and all of the sudden people just drain it out of them. It's not right. It hurts a lot." 

It's been a long road to recovery, but both Callie and her mom say she's doing better after several stays in the hospital.

"She's actually become really a better person, a stronger person too through this," said Susie. "Her and Tanner both. She can handle a situation a lot better now, that's for sure."

The hardest part for many victims is to report the bullying, but Callie says that's what you have to do. 

"Don't be afraid to go tell," said Callie. "Stand up for yourself. Be positive."

And as for the bullies, Callie is dealing with them too.

"I'm praying for them," said Callie.

To close out the month long series next week, Holly Carter will sit down with the Calcasieu Parish School Board to discuss policies and procedures regarding bullying.

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