ARGYLE — Thirteen-year-old John Carmichael, 17-year-old Courtney Moss and nine-year-old Montana Lance are three young North Texans police say took their life this year after being picked on by someone they knew.
A new study now shows that children who are overweight have an increased risk of being bullied by 63 percent.
For two North Texas girls, the problem has reached new heights. So, they came up with a plan: A week of anti-bully prevention at their school.
They kicked things off Monday, hoping that an open discussion about the problem may create change.
Alexandra Brantley says she has had enough. She wants to put a stop to bullying. Alexandra and her friend, Alexis Stoecker, created "Anti-Bully Prevention Week" at E.P. Rayzor Elementary School in Argyle.
"It puts me down," Alexandra said of bullying. "It makes me feel like I'm just getting squished."
"You feel put down and not worthy of being there," Stoecker said.
A study set to be published in the journal Pediatrics says by the time students reach the sixth grade, teachers report 34 percent of their students have been bullied. And while moms report 45 percent of their children were bullied, only 25 percent of kids admit it has happened to them.
Both Alexandra and Alexis say keeping quiet about bullying is not the answer. So, this week, the students will encourage their classmates to sign a pledge that promises to respect others and themselves.
"Love who you are because that's what matters," Alexandra said.
Research also showed that boys, minorities and children from low-income groups are more likely to be bullied than other kids.
Texas is one of many states taking action against bullying. the state requires districts to establish a code of conduct prohibiting bullying behavior. Texas also allows students to transfer schools if bullying of a student reaches a potentially risky height.