Former bullying victim shares story to help others - - The News for South Mississippi

Former bullying victim shares story to help others


A woman who says she is still carrying the scars of childhood bullying wants to keep a younger generation from experiencing that pain. Jessica Brookshire is the founder of KARMA or Kids Against Ridicule, Meanness, and Aggression. She is sharing her story to try to stop bullying.

Brookshire told a group of Hancock County Middle School students about the fall out of bullying. 

"When you choose to talk about them, spread rumors about them, you push. Call them names and leave them out, you push them a little bit every day," Brookshire.

Brookshire said she endured a lot of painful teasing in her teenage years but no where near as bad as what kids face today because bullies have gone hi-tech.

"I got to go home and surround myself with things that make me happy and get away from it," said Brookshire. "But now kids go home, they turn on a computer and it's in their face. They have it in the palm of their hands on a cell phone. So they don't get to escape it."

To show kids about the possible consequences of bullying, Brookshire held up pictures of teens driven to suicide.

"If you're a bully think about what you're doing," said Brookshire. "If you have somebody that you just can't stand and it's your goal to make them miserable, stop."

Chandler Ladner is a Middle School student. 

"It helps people realize how people can feel when they're being bullied," Ladner said.

"They'll start thinking it about it that one thing could change somebody's life. Could end their life," Aaron Feazelle, a Middle School student said.

Brookshire said it's up to parents to teach their children how to treat people.

"Encouraging them to be nicer which I know seems like such a basic message but I think it's such a basic thing that we as adults have taken it for granted," Brookshire said. "Just teaching them to be nice. Be more sensitive to each other's feelings. If you're in crisis, if you're hurting, if you're scared, if you're lonely, talk to somebody and know that it will be okay."

Brookshire said so far she's spoken to more than 94,000 students about bullying. She also speaks about the dangers of sending inappropriate photos via cell phone or Internet.

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