Bullying: A Growing Problem

By: Zakk Gammon Email
By: Zakk Gammon Email

Bullying is so bad, kids as young as fourth grade are committing suicide. Counselors say these kids are finding a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

"What if I was that kid? I wouldn't want to be treated the way I'm treating them," said Dylan Beckham.

To combat the bullying issue, one local student took matters into his own hands. Beckham created a PSA for his friend, Cole, who has Autism and was picked on at school.

What started off as a school project spread across the country.

Dylan is now a Jefferson Award recipient; he was selected as a Hometown Hero and was featured on CNN's Anderson Cooper. He's staying humble about it, though. While he's honored for the recognition, he says he only does it to help others.

"I was surprised when CNN called me and told me they wanted to have an interview. That's when I knew it was getting out, not only into the county but state-wide and nation-wide," he said.

And it's working. His friend, Kade Lawrence says he used to be a bully... that was until he caught wind of Dylan's efforts.

"Some people from being bullied have actually killed themselves. We don't want anybody doing that," Lawrence said.

Dylan says even with all the publicity, there's still a lot of work to do.

Marty Bowman, with the Kelly Autism Program at WKU says the types of harassment is detrimental, not just for Autistic children, but for anyone who's seen as different or unusual.

"There's almost a failure to understand what they're going through," she said.

So with that in mind, Dylan, Kade and the rest of their friends hope more and more kids and adults across the country will get the message.

Stop the scaring and start the healing, one person at a time.

"Just hang in there. Eventually it'll stop," said Lawrence.


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