Walking through the school’s hallways, Mariah Cathey felt more self-conscious. When she was younger, Mariah, a Charles Patterson Middle School eighth-grader, was bullied.
“It makes you feel worthless sometimes. It makes you feel bad inside,” she said. “People who are bullying others don’t see how it affects (the person being bullied).”
Many teens attending the teen extreme leadership camp last week agreed recognizing and preventing bullying is important.
Throughout the week, the teens brainstormed issues seen around schools, in the community and at youth centers, including defining what are public displays of affection so students have a better understanding, having a later curfew and wanting more snack options at youth centers on post.
Those issues will be presented to Fort Hood and regional leaders as part of the Army Family Action Plan.
The whole concept is for them to give us ideas to make this whole program better, said Sheila R. Curtis, youth administrator for Child, Youth and School Services. The only way to make the children feel like they’re a part of the community is to actually listen to what they have to say.
“It’s wonderful and thought-provoking,” Curtis said. “I think they came up with some excellent topics.”
Isabella George, a Killeen High School sophomore, attended the camp for the second year in a row.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “You get to meet new people, learn things you might not be able to learn in school because it’s a smaller program.”
Isabella also said learning about bullying was the most important lesson she learned.
A lot of people might see bullying, but don’t really realize that’s what it is, she said. “When (they gave us) a presentation, it showed ‘that’s bullying, that’s wrong.’”