BOSTON (CBS) – Kids play a critical role in the effort to stop bullying even though it’s not always easy. Tuesday, some of them shared their success stories at a conference that aims to encourage kids to become allies and stick up for one another in the face of a bully.

About 1,200 students from Massachusetts and Vermont gathered at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston to unite against school bullying.

The conference is sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League.

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports.

The middle and high school students attended several workshops meant to empower them to stand up against bullying.

Brandi Norden, a senior at Soneham High School, is no stranger to bullying. As a freshman she wanted to be different and cut off all her hair. She says that one decision changed the way some of her classmates treated her, “I was in study hall and he shouted out a derogatory name insinuating that I was gay.”

Corrie Bradley, a high school junior, says she became a victim to constant harassment in middle school. “People would throw things at me,” she said. “Joke about me to my face… put soap in my mouth.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports.

She has narcolepsy, and before it was treated she’d sleep in class. Through tears she describes how being bullied years ago still affects her. “You can’t really stand up for yourself because you’re so vulnerable, I guess. I was depressed for awhile,” she said.

Now both girls are standing up for themselves and others. They’re peer leaders in this year’s anti-bullying forum by the Anti-Defamation League. Here they tackle the tough questions, like why kids bully.

“They’re afraid of what they don’t understand,” says Norden, who also explained why some students are likely targets over others. “They’re scared that because they’re different they’re weaker.”

A total of 1,100 Massachusetts students attended the day-long event at the Park Plaza Castle and Hotel in Boston. Some wore t-shirts that read “The Power Of One” on the back.

Organizers say the goal is to bring everyone together and make them an ally in the fight against bullying.

“That’s why I became a peer leader to make it aware that what people say and do hurts,’ says Bradley, again fighting back her tears.

The state implemented anti-bullying legislation last year. Educators now have to provide instruction to students on how to prevent bullying and create a plan to report and intervene if a situation escalates.

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez contributed to this report.

Comments (3)
  1. Bali P says:

    Bullying will NEVER STOP

    Why ?

    Because the State tolerates it, and allows it to continue, so that they can pay their “hacks” to be on some committee or agency to “fight” bullying. How so ?

    If Bobby the bully is harassing Vicki the victim, and Vicki the victim fights BACK, the schools want to punish BOTH, telling Vicki the victim that the “zero tolerance” policy says she also has to be suspended or charged, so Vicki is being bullied and won’t defend herself because she’s scared of the ADMINISTRATION will suspend her also. So Joe the jerk sees Vicki is easy to be bullied, and he copies Bobby, and the cycle continues and spreads…

  2. emom says:

    Bali P, so agree, Kids that get bullied are not allowed to defend them selfs. Its a shame since so many would learn they cant push them around , especially if it was a form of protection. like martial arts. My child takes Karate, 2nd degree brown going for 1st deree, I have had to advice the school and bus that He will protect himself if attacked.. There is a zero tolerance so I had to advice my child to not be the agressor. Its down right mean to allow a bully to walk up to a child and get the tar kicked out of them and there is noting they can do to prevent it. If you raise your hands in a defense protective way its lookded at as an aggressive and provoking way. really LIke putting your hands and arms in front of your face to protect from having your teeth knocked out is provoking in anyway… zero tolerance goes to far, and they know it, they rather punish the innocent much like the justic system we have for adults, the victims coware in fear , lock them selves away all because the criminal gets to walk around, the cycle truely continues but it starts with our kids, Or maybe the schools create the bigger problem,

  3. Debbie Scaduto says:

    Boston’s Michael and Marisa Take on Bullying with their new song & video,”The Same” Kids Can Help Kids.
    They hope their song reaches bullies and those unfairly being bullied…”If our song causes even one bystander to take a stand, that one action could be the start of a chain of events that could help to stop bullying

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