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Port Arthur Health Department holds anti-bullying rally - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Port Arthur Health Department holds anti-bullying rally

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Jayne Bordelon reading to the kids Jayne Bordelon reading to the kids
PORT ARTHUR -

More than 50 parents and students of the Port Arthur Independent School District gathered at the city's Health Department Thursday to tackle the issue of bullying head on. It was part of the Health Department's "First Annual Bullying Stops Here Rally".

"My middle child, (bullies) would take him in the bathroom and they would hit him and I think one child actually bit him," said Trina Ibarra, a mother who spoke at the meeting.

Ibarra told the kids in the crowd how important it is to tell their parents if they're getting picked on.

"My second child didn't come home and tell me, that's why whenever I had my speech today, I wanted children to be comfortable enough with their parents that they can tell them what's going on." 

This past school year saw several fights in Port Arthur schools, including one that was caught on a cell phone video camera at Memorial High School in March.

In June, a special meeting was held at the school district's central administration building to brainstorm better disciplinary procedures for unruly students.

At Thursday's rally, a Port Arthur police officer told everyone that serious offenses will result in arrests.

Jayne Bordelon with Mental Health America of Southeast Texas read a book about bullying to the kids, and encouraged parents to set a good example at home.

"If their parents' behaviors are to, instead of working things out they want to fight it out or yell and scream and use foul words, the children are learning that, and they're taking that to the schools," Bordelon told 12News.
     
"I really don't think that children mean to do the things they do, I really think it's part of their upbringing," said Ibarra.

Organizers hope everyone in attendance took the message to heart, and can help prevent bullying before it starts.

This coming school year the district plans to implement a program that would make it easier for students to report bullying without fear of retaliation.  

The district is also planning a public meeting on August 15th to address its management plan, which includes bullying.

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