Student starts petition to stop bullying in school

Haley Turner and her family protest bullying in Liberty Hill schools in front of Parker’s Corner Market on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Kate Ludlow)

By KATE LUDLOW

Haley Turner, 12, a student at Liberty Hill Intermediate School, gathered with her family in front of Parker’s Corner Market Tuesday to protest bullying in school.

Her brother, Brandon Wilson, offered passersby a petition that they will be presenting to the school. In their first 15 minutes of collecting signatures, 15 had stopped to sign the document.

Miss Turner said that she is bullied at school, and she sees other students being bullied as well.

“We want it to stop. Everyone needs to be safe,” she said.

Intermediate School Principal Kathy Major said she could not comment on Miss Turner’s case or any specific case due to rules of confidentiality, but she felt positively about the idea of a protest.

“They’re becoming an advocate to stop bullying,” said Mrs. Major of Tuesday’s protest. “It’s a reiteration of how we push them to report. We have a very specific process of documentation. I think that a protest is an outcropping of what we’re trying to teach them. I can’t take responsibility for it, because it’s them taking these actions. It’s the students doing these things.”

She says that reporting bullying is the first and most important step to getting resolution.

“Sometimes, the kids don’t want to report. They think it’s tattling. We need these kids to stand up and report,” she said. “So, it’s not a bad thing that someone is speaking out. Any child becoming empowered by what we’re teaching them, well, that makes me proud.”

Miss Turner was joined Tuesday by her mother, Valerie Wilson, and her aunt. Their signs drew honks and waves  from passersby. One woman even stopped her car int he middle of Loop 332 to voice her support.

Liberty Hill Police Chief Randy Williams said when it comes to bullying, all schools need to be pro-active to keep students safe.

Williams, who has been a vocal advocate for a school resource officer program in Liberty Hill schools, said a “police presence would be beneficial to prevent bullying and prevent drug abuse. We continue to offer our cooperation to the school district in developing such a program.”