According to National Education Association, an estimated 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students.
Wednesday morning, students lined up in the Ray Miller Elementary School for an anti-bullying assembly.
The program was sponsored by the Thousand Hills Rotary Club. Several people shared their stories and helped students understand that bullying is not OK. Speakers included Adair County Sherriff Robert Hardwick, Adair County Prosecutor Matt Wilson and Miss Mid Missouri Outstanding Teen Samantha Caraway.
Many students volunteered to role play a scenario of someone being bullied and then discussed ways to change the situation.
??We had a program about bullying, and it was an awesome thing because we handed out flyers and we did a little word search and a skit,?? Caraway said. ??It was really nice to get the kids interacting with the idea of stopping bullying and not being a bystander, but making a scene and going into it.??
One powerful moment during the assembly was when a fourth-grade student raised his hand in front of his peers and said, "Kids call me fat?|and it makes me sad."
Many students then raised their hands, and a girl said, ??We have to tell him he??s important.??
Caraway shared her experience.
??I was actually bullied whenever I was little, but the idea that I can make a platform and go into schools and talk about it is really awesome to me,?? Caraway said. ??I love my platform, and I love doing what I am doing.??
The main message today was, ??Be a buddy, not a bully.??