Kids Talk About Bullying

Chances are there’s not a kid in the United States who hasn’t heard this before:  “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.”

If you really believe that, then maybe Carl Walker Hoover’s story will change your mind.

“He was being called gay slurs,” his sister Dominique said, “because he didn’t dress like everyone else did.  He always had a tucked-in shirt, wore a belt.  He was a gentleman.”

Carl hanged himself last year. He was 11.

Yes, names do hurt.

And Carl, unfortunately, is not the only kid who has taken his own life because of repeated verbal abuse.

On Sunday, October 3rd, “Nick News with Linda Ellerbee” will take a hard look at the issue of bullying. Kids will talk about being bullied. Bullies will talk about why they did what they did. And both groups of kids will talk about ways to stop bullying.

You’ll hear from a kid named DeMonte who says he gets bullied because of his voice and his height.

“This girl like always walk up to me and like hit me in the back of my head, like push me and stuff,” he says.  “I took it to the teacher.  He didn’t do nothing.  And then I took it to my mom.  She couldn’t, she didn’t do nothing.”

You’ll hear from a kid named Manny – a kid who admits that he himself has been a bully.

“Cause my friends did it.  And I thought it would be cool if I bullied, too.”

You’ll also hear from Emma. One of her classmates also hanged herself after repeated bullying.

“Friends are always scared to stand up for you,” she says. “Because you know what?  When they stand up for you, they become the target.”

Experts say as many as 60 percent of all middle school kids admit to having been bullied.

Can we stop bullying? And if so, how?

The answers aren’t easy. Neither are the stories. But they’re important stories. And you can see them on the next edition of “Nick News with Linda Ellerbee.”

It’s called “Sticks, Stones and Cyberslams.” And you can watch it at 9 p.m., Sunday, October 3rd, on Nickelodeon, in the Eastern and Pacific time zones. If you live in a different time zone, check your local cable listings to find out what time it’ll be on in your community.

Maybe we can all create a future where bullying won’t be tolerated.

“It’s not too late,” Emma says.  “You can’t change the past.  But you can look ahead and see what’s going to happen in the future and change it.”