WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — Bullying continues to be an issue in schools and communities across the country with youth targeted in a number of ways including economic status, race, sexuality, etc.
The Whiteville-based nonprofit group From Our Family to Yourz (FOFTY) plans to host a Speak Up and Stop Bullying rally on July 27.
“We are just trying to bring awareness to bullying because we don’t think the issue is taken as serious as it should be,” said FOFTY Co-founder Danaysia Powell.
The organization has been working in the greater Whiteville community since 2009 and officially gained nonprofit status with the state in 2015.
Saturday’s rally will feature a variety of speakers including adults who were bullied as kids, parents of kids who are currently being bullied, educators offering their perspectives on bullying and a Whiteville Police Department representative. There will also be entertainment offered throughout the afternoon and food vendors available.
Pledge stations will also be set up throughout the venue.
“Students, parents and administrators can sign a pledge saying they’re going to hold themselves accountable to stop bullying, prevent it and intervene if they see it occurring,” Powell said.
The event aims to remind youth and adults if they witness an act of bullying to speak up to a responsible adult like a teacher, school administrator or police officer.
“When you don’t speak up, it can lead to possible suicide or something more serious so we are encouraging the kids to speak up even if its something minor,” said FOFTY Co-founder Tankeisha Graham. “We want you to speak up so the issue can be addressed immediately and, hopefully, eliminated.”
Organizers purposely planned the event for late summer since the start of school is just weeks away.
“We wanted to have it [rally] close to the beginning of the school year so we can get everybody pumped up and excited about the new school year in hopes of having a fresh start and no one will be bullied,” Graham said.
The Speak Up and Stop Bullying rally will be held at Vineland Station located at 701 S. Madison Street in Whiteville on Saturday, 3-6 p.m. Admission is free and all are welcome.