LAKE CITY, Fla. -- Bullying is a problem in almost every school. "It effects their self-esteem. It can make them feel isolated. It can make them feel like they don't have anyone to turn to," said the Principal at Lake City Middle School, Sonya Judkins.
Sonya looks over 1,100 students. And while a good day is getting them all home safely, she says it's the scars you can't see that scare her most.
"Bullying hurts more than we think it does, and it does have a lasting impact. And there is no place for it," she said.
Rules against bullying aren't just in the student handbook anymore. They are now a part of the curriculum. "We've actually started a class called school and personal development," said Judkins.
Florida law requires every school to teach bullying prevention, but Lake City Middle is going a step further with t-shirts. They will also enter a national video contest to help spread the message.
And this year the focus is not just the bully or the victim. "We want our bystanders to know that they have the power to make a difference. And we also want them to know that they really have a responsibility to make a difference," said Judkins.
Every student in Columbia County can report bullying anonymously by phone by calling 1-866-295-7303 or texting 386-754-7099. You can find more information about bully prevention at www.stopbullying.gov.