A former bully victim takes matters into her own hands to combat the problem. But the Chesterfield 8th grader doesn't get physical rather inspirational!
14-year-old Tori Parker said she started a sticky note project at Salem Church Middle School to lift the spirits of others who've been bullied. Even with school ending this week, she said the inspirational messages won't stop.
The tiny pieces of paper speak volumes.
"Some of them around the hallways say, 'You're amazing. You can't let people tell you what you're not,'" said Parker.
Parker said a church discussion about how to change the world got her thinking.
"We talked about some of the common issues like human trafficking, poverty, and hunger all of that stuff," said Parker.
She couldn't connect to those issues.
Parker decided to take on something that hit closer to home which is bullying.
"In my school I've seen a lot of depression and bullying and I got so sick and fed up with it because I was actually bullied myself as a kid," said Parker.
The Salem Church Middle School sticky note project was born.
Parker posted flyers at school and started a Facebook group.
"The word got out about the project and all of a sudden all of these sticky notes started appearing on the walls," said Parker.
"The thing she's doing is helping people out, boosting their self esteem," said Parker's friend, Daniel Campos.
"Brings me joy that I know I'm making a change," said Parker.
Parker said her principal, teachers and most classmates have been supportive but believes bullies tried to sabotage it.
"I had a sticky note on the bathroom mirror it said, 'This mirror doesn't define who you are inside.' They took it down. They put, 'You have no life,'" said Parker.
Parker will move on from Salem Middle to high school in the fall. But school officials said the student led project will continue.
Parker said the message is spreading beyond her school walls.
"One of my friends on Facebook, she moved in 6th grade. She said she would start it at her school in Tennessee, so it's making a huge impact," said Parker.
Chesterfield schools released a statement: It said counselors lead many programs to prevent bullying that the student-led project continues to have a positive influence.
Parker said she'll keep the project going throughout the summer by posting inspirational sticky notes in public places.
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