United front against bullying

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. - Dozens of students and parents gathered outside Northside High School Tuesday afternoon showing their support for students who have been bullied or sexually assaulted.

The rally stems from a recent incident at Northside Middle, where one student told WFXR News that a female students was sexually assaulted.

Other students who jumped in to help her say they were punished, but they don't think the administration did enough to prevent the incident from happening.

The Roanoke County students and their parents were out most of the afternoon, holding up signs of encouragement.

Cars also drove by, honking to show their support.

Many of the girls at the rally said this is encouragement they needed when they were facing their own bullies.

"I'm not here to attack Northside, I'm not here to get my revenge, I'm here to say there's girls in need of help. There's guys in need of help. They need help," says Junior Katelynn Schall.

Schall says she's been bullied since elementary school, with the abuse increasing in the last two years. She says at one time she was facing criminal charges because of her bully's actions.

"We have to defend our kids, we have to stand up for them. If Northside's not going to do it, then the parents altogether, we have to stand up for these kids," adds parent Fatima Tarbox.

Tarbox says her daughter Makayla has been a victim of bullying as well, though not much is done when they report the abuse to teachers or administration.

Those who were standing by the side of the road Tuesday afternoon know the changes they want won't come any time soon, but they're hoping the very visible demonstration will let students know they don't have to face their bullies alone.


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