Students, parents, nonprofits rally to stop bullying


Tallahassee nonprofits joined together to host an anti-bullying rally to bring attention to the growing issue within the community Saturday.

The Big Bend Anti-Bullying Task Force partnered with Florida State University’s PeaceJam program, Positive Generation Entertainment and Leon County Schools to host a students against bullying rally.

The rally took place on the stairs of Florida’s Old Capitol that faces Monroe Street.

During the rally, students shared stories about their struggles with bullying. Some broke into tears as they mentally relived the moment and were comforted by fellow rally members.

“These kids spoke for themselves,” Rody Thompson, event coordinator and PeaceJam member said filled with joy. “I am grateful to be a part this organization that is allowing young children to speak their truth.”

The students involved reached out to Gov. Rick Scott by writing postcards that reported the impact bullying had on their lives and outlined ways to stop it.

“The event was needed because there is not many bullying programs publicly stating about its action to stop bullying,” said Riley McFatten, a senior social work student at FSU. “I like how we got the opportunity to write a postcard to Rick Scott because even though it is an individual issue, it is also a social issue that needs to be addressed.”

Students were not the only supporters in the crowd. Parents, including Cathy Young, were also in attendance.

“I’m glad they are finally taking a stand on doing something because back in my day, nothing was ever done,” Young said. “It’s nice to see young people taking a stand, and they need to continue to stand.”

The letters from the students will be dropped off at the governor’s office next week.

Visit the Big Bend Anti-Bullying Task Force’s Facebook page for coverage from the event as well as upcoming events.