LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Kinder Rotary Club hosted a special anti-bullying program at Kinder High School to help educate students on the effects of bullying.
"As a community service organization, we are the outlet for Kinder," said Kinder Rotary Club president Cindy Harden. "We feel that it is our part to be here for these students. These teens face these problems every day and so we want to be there to be an outlet for them and we felt as the place we hold in the community, that was our job."
The program began with basic information on bullying presented by Elton High School counselor Cathy Smith. She presented the different kinds of bullying including physical, verbal and cyber bullying.
"If it's causing the person to be embarrassed, some pain or discomfort, guess what? You're bullying," said Smith. "It's bully behavior. I don't want to call you a bully, but you have bully behavior."
The program also featured a panel discussion in which Kinder High School coaches and counselors along with rotary club members and other staff member answered questions that were submitted by the students themselves.
Kinder senior Lexie LaFleur says raising awareness on bullying is extremely important for her peers to learn now before taking on the next step in their lives.
"I know a few people who have committed suicide due to bullying and not everyone realizes how serious the issues is," said LaFleur. "They think that since we're such a small school, bullying is not that big of a deal, but what we say or do can really hurt someone more than we think."
The Kinder Rotary Club hosts a variety of community service events to help keep the Kinder community involved and informed. President elect Jade Fuschak says with the help of members and schools, spreading the word on bullying can help students who are victims or those who are partaking in bullying a chance to get better.
"To the ones that are being bullied, there's hope," said Fuschak. "You have people that love you and care about you."
Club member and dance instructor Kristina Yeagley says she makes sure her students know she is always available for help whether in the classroom or out.
"Someone is always going to be there to listen," said Yeagley. "Whether it be a dance teacher, a counselor or a basketball coach. There are people in this town that care about one another and I just want them to understand that."
The Kinder Rotary Club is in the works of planning another anti-bullying program with Kinder High School soon. The club is hosting a 5K run to raise awareness for child abuse Saturday, April 5 at 9 a.m. beginning on 4th avenue in Kinder and ending at the Kinder Public Library.