CREATED Sep 13, 2012
Reporter: Kevin Keen
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - They were bullied on playgrounds, in school hallways and online. Thursday, the students banded together to break their silence. They went in front of a camera, sharing what happened to them in hopes of helping others through a new anti-bullying video campaign.
Max McCoy, bullied in sixth grade, was among the young faces.
“A kid wanted a soccer ball that me and my best friend were playing with,” the current eighth grader said. “We said no so he forcefully took it, grabbed me around my neck and threw me to the ground and punched my best friend across the face.”
The playground plight at a Tucson middle school two years ago was serious.
“I had three vertebrae dislocated in my neck,” McCoy said. “I had to go to a chiropractor and I still do.”
It's not an easy story to share, but max did with 9 On Your Side and in front of another camera Thursday night.
“He grabbed me in headlock and threw me to the ground,” McCoy said, as he held a microphone during a taped interview.
The fellow middle schooler interviewing McCoy was Levi Fallavollita, a victim of bullying and the author of a book on what to do if you're harassed or hurt at school. The book’s called The Good, the Bad and the Bullies.
Twelve-year-old Fallavollita, along with an adult advocate named Ed Wagner, listened as about a half dozen victims shared their stories on camera. They asked questions along the way.
“Like: How did it make them feel?” Fallavollita gave as an example. “Who did they get involved? What advice would they give people?”
Students at Skyview High School will piece together the recorded interviews and share them with kids, teachers and families.
9 On Your Side reporter Kevin Keen asked McCoy, “Why come here tonight and tell your story?” “Because I want to let other kids who have been bullied before speak up, tell their story and not to be afraid,” the eighth grader answered.
“I hope that no kid, adult, teenager, anything has to go through what people who have been bullied have to go through,” McCoy added.
The students sharing their experiences Thursday were from different schools and grades. Skyview students taught by Jessica Melrose will create an educational DVD and make it available to any school or family that wants a copy.