Green Bay, WI - Statistics show that in the United States, about 1 in 4 teens are bullied at school on a regular basis. Now, one Green Bay Preble High School student is working to put a stop to school bullying by sharing her own story.
Kendra Kawula is a senior at Green Bay Preble, and portrays confidence well beyond her years. But it wasn't always that way. Just two years ago, Kendra was a victim of bullying.
"I dealt with girls saying stuff to me in the hallways and writing comments about me on facebook. I had sucker sticks thrown in my hair at football games. It was just a hard time," she said.
After months of struggling alone, Kendra decided it was time to tell someone about what she had been facing. She went to school counselor Natalie Killion.
"I felt like I had a load off my chest. I was just holding everything in for so long, that I just let it all out," said Kendra.
After talking with Ms. Killion, it didn't take long for Kendra to realize that she had to speak up and confront the girls who were bullying her.
"It's something that needs to be reported as soon as possible, so that we, as school officials, can take the proper steps to ensure that it doesn't continue," said Killion.
Since then, Kendra has bravely shared her story in front of students, school staff and parents. She hopes it will help others in the same situation to take a stand.
"Just having the guts to go forward admit this is happening is a huge step.. and it's a hard step to take. But, it's one you have to be willing to take in order to end the pain," Kendra said.
"She's really emerged as a leader in our school, and I think some of the experiences she's had here, she will carry into her adult life in a real positive way," said Killion.
Kendra says Ms. Killion is like a second mother to her, and she's forever grateful to her for helping her take a stand.
Kendra graduates this year, and hopes to become a special education teacher. She says she'll use her past experiences to help others who are victims of bullying.