Local Girl Takes Anti-Bullying Message Nationwide - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Local Girl Takes Anti-Bullying Message Nationwide

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According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, bullying remains one of the largest problems in schools across the nation.

FBI officials say the percentage of students reportedly bullied at least once per week has steadily increased since 1999.

Children here in savannah are not exempt from it.

Today, I talked to a little girl who is taking a stand against bullying, and the amazing thing is, she didn't say anything while doing it.

Instead, the 5th grader penned her feelings and through YouTube, broadcast her story for all to see. Now, it's gaining some national attention---but the only thing that matters to her, letting the bullies know enough is enough.

"It makes me feel so happy, like I have actually helped people out," says 12 year-old Mackey Linton, smiling.

But that smile was almost completely missing from her video confessional posted on the video sharing site. The 5th grader silently sent a message other people's words hurt her—so now, she is using her own to make a difference.

"Ii was just trying to figure out how I could put a stop to bullying, because I do not like it at all."

Mackey's mom says she was bullied at her school, Blessed Sacrament—but most of it happened on line. It broke her heart to see her child's raw emotions scrolled out on paper.

"It took me three times to watch the video," says Shannon.

"I had to start it and stop it, and of course dry my tears. Then the emotion of, how proud I was that she is not only standing up for herself, but then the fact that she realizes that this is happening to people of all ages."

But prior to Mackey's video, her cries already gained the attention of the school. Bullying and a lack of tolerance is something Principal Lynn Brown has been trying to end in the class room for years.

"Every year we begin with a theme, and our themes are always about teaching tolerance. If you walk around school you will see all these butterflies to represent ‘being the change you wish to see in the world'."

But as the school year went on, the line between what happens online at home, verses at school disappeared. Principal Brown put her foot down. The bullying was to end.

"We went in together with just the girls, because for whatever reason, this happens more with girls. However you conduct yourself out side of school, you can be liable in school. So if a child is out there texting someone and texting ugly things-- if they are not representing the character of a student at Blessed Sacrament, they can be asked to leave. And we do that."

For Mackey, things have gotten a lot better. And that school motto, she is making it her own.

"Even my friend, I didn't know that she was bullied --when she saw my video, she said it really inspired her. It doesn't bother her anymore. Bullying can happen to anyone, anywhere and if it does, you need to tell someone. You just keep telling until someone listens."

Mackey's story has gained the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, who emailed her last week explaining that she was also bullied for being viewed as different.

To support Mackey, her school, along with local groups and businesses, has all decided to wear pink on April 19th. You can support her, too.

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