Mothers form Guam Anti-Bullying Organization
by Nick Delgado
Guam - Three women have come together hoping to put a stop to bullying in our island's school system, and doing so by educating and promoting bullying prevention as well as enforcing harsher punishment for those committing the act.
"We're just three moms who got together and decided that enough is enough," said Cindy Hanson. She, Christie Mehring-Cruz and Tammy Bamba all have children in Guam's public school , and it's the traumatic experiences they say their children either had lived through or the constant news stories of students getting bullied that forced them to form the Guam Anti-Bullying Organization.
Mehring-Cruz explained, "My son was bullied - he basically gave up his lunch money and his field trip money in order to have the student leave him alone. It got to the point where he couldn't go to school and have money because he already he was going to take it from him and that happened over a two- to three-month period and finally when he saw the knife in the boys pocket he knew then I need to say something."
She says her son attended Untalan Middle School and got death threats from time to time. It's a similar situation that Hanson says happened to her son at Jose Rios Middle School, noting. "My son was having problems with different children he was actually hit in the head 12 different times."
It's the unsatisfactory response from school officials that also pushed the organizations creation. The group represents both public and private school parents...the effort all started out on Facebook to get more in the community involved and become one voice to speak out in support of any effort or legislation dealing with anti-bullying.
Bamba, who is a constituent relations specialist at the Lieutenant Governor's Office, says they are working on cases such as Cruz's and Hanson's. She says while fortunately her children never had a bullying problem, it's the message of support she says parents need to enforce. "If they see it being done to come there and say something or just stand next to the person being bullied, which I know from my older children have happened in the past and I'm very proud of them," she said.
While they continue to ask more in the community to get involved, the anti-bullying organization members say they strive for one goal: "No child should be afraid to go to school," said Hanson. "It should be a nurturing environment they are there to learn to be better adults and violence of this nature has no place in our schools."
If you're interested in joining you can find out more on the Guam Anti-Bullying Organization page on Facebook.