Putting a stop to bullying takes a community effort

Tyler Rodriguez and Samantha Rubio have witnessed it many times.

Sometimes they don TMt mean it in a bad way, Rubio started.

But it still hurts, Rodriguez said.

They {the people being bullied} are seeing themselves as what they TMre being called, Samantha explained. It hurts them and brings them down.

These teens are just standing on the side lines and while fellow classmates are bullied"they TMre stepping up and Taking Action 4 them.

Rodriguez and Rubio want to start a ~Peer to Peer TM group that focuses stopping the viscous cycle of bullying"with education playing a key role.

"I think the peer to peer program will help because I've talked to some of my friends who were being bullied and I made them see that it was bad and how they could change it, Rodriguez told Action 4 News. Even if it's just one person--that is one person who is informed and one more person who can make a difference."

To get a better idea of how to start the program and really make it a success"Rodriguez and Rubio have joined hundreds of teachers from Region One to learn about bullying, the devastating affects it can cause, and how to prevent it.

"I think it's empowering for them to be here and to come up with new ideas and curriculum--to make sure their school is a bully free school," Clara Contreras, school health specialist for Region One, said.