Varina high school stomps out bullying at football game

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Varina High School in Henrico County is fed up with bullying, even going as far as getting students to sign a pledge against that kind of behavior. Students took their battle to the football field Friday night. They sported stickers that read "Stomp Out Bullying".

From the Blue Devils mascot stomping his foot, to a catchy chant by the cheerleaders, the message at this Varina game was loud and clear.

"N-O B-U-L-L-Y-I-N-G," screamed cheerleaders.

Before the game, students passed out blue ribbons and stickers. At half-time, they took a lap around the field with candles, all of it symbolizing a commitment to a battle against bullies.

Varina senior Jade Payne has never been on the receiving end of a bully, but knows people who have.

"I've seen verbal bullying that's a big thing cause words can really hurt someone more than physical bullying," said Payne.

School counselor Gena Jones said now more than ever, bullies use cell phones and computers to stir up trouble.

"What they're seeing now is a lot of verbal abuse through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter," said Jones. She added that those fighting words have turned physical in the school.

In honor of National Bullying Awareness Week, students here signed a pledge.

"Basically that I agree under no circumstances will I participate in any type of bullying activities and if I see those activities taking place I will report it," said Jones.

Jade Payne says a lot of her classmates are getting the message but it may take longer for others.

"If you enforce it enough they'll start getting the point," said Payne.

Students and parents can report bullying to Henrico administrators, anonymously, by going to the Henrico Schools web site and look for the "Silence Hurts" link. 

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