National Speaker comes to Hannibal to talk about anti-bullying - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

National Speaker comes to Hannibal to talk about anti-bullying

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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

Bullying may be in the national spotlight, but it's still a big problem in many schools.  A national speaker came to Hannibal Wednesday night to say it doesn't have to be that way, and he brought a message not just for kids, but for their parents.

Teachers and parents tell me bullies are everywhere.  Whether it's at a school or park, bullying is a problem every school is trying to solve.  National speaker Ray Amanat came to Cindy Powell's Black Belt and Karate to teach kids how to be a hero in front of bullies. 

There may have been some laughs, but everyone here knows bullying is no joke.  Ray Amanat travels the country with one message for kids.  Don't be afraid to speak up.

"So it's giving them the script knowing what to say to stand up for themselves and draw the proper attention," he said.  

Melissa Zimmerman teaches at Eugene Field Elementary and said kids standing up for each other will help solve a lot of problems.
"As teachers we can't see everything happen.  So students have a lot of responsibilities to report that themselves and stand up for one another," she said.  

Parent Jeanne Youngwirth hopes these lessons will help deter problems when her son starts school.
 
"Whether the problem has gotten worse or whether it's talked about a lot more now who knows, but like I said, it is a big problem and I think every parents worse nightmare is thinking about your child having to go through an issue like this," she said. 

Amanat said putting an end to bullying isn't just a job for students.  He believes parents need to have a bigger role and help reinforce the message.
"And it gave me a good chance to learn some of the things I need to work with him on before he goes to school as well as seeing what things on what he's already picked up on and what he needs to work on," he said. 

Experts say bullying can lead to violence at schools.  Thursday night, the Hannibal School District along with HLGU invites the public to the Roland Fine Arts Center at 7:00 to hear Dr. Peter Langman talk about student violence and how to provide better security for school buildings. 

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