Arlington Lamar anti-bully campaign gets results



Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas


Posted on October 20, 2012 at 12:12 AM

ARLINGTON -- A North Texas student, fed up with being bullied for years, is suddenly finding huge support in her high school.

About two weeks ago we introduced you to Amanda Bueno, an Arlington Lamar student who wrote a letter to the district superintendent about her experience.

"I've been bullied since first grade and it has not stopped since," she wrote. 

For a while in high school, Amanda was cutting herself in despair. She said that's history now.

Several months ago, she and a few friends launched an anti-bullying Facebook page called "LHS Love is Louder."

Since that letter, it's grown a lot louder.

This week, students began putting large posters throughout Lamar, inviting others to trace their hands and take a stand.

And the Love is Louder Facebook page?

"Since last week, we've gained about 150 members to our page," Bueno said with a smile. "Which is crazy."

The theater department produced three vignettes on bullying. Bueno edited the videos, which were shown throughout school this week.

Theater department head Steve Morris wrote the scripts. He said he's encouraged by all the focus on the problem, and believes there's a genuine chance to decrease the amount of bullying.

"I think it has to," he said. "Just from the fact that we're talking about it."

Lamar's principal set aside an afternoon for all students to watch videos and discuss the problem.  School officials believe bullying is at least partly to blame for another student's overdose on prescription pills earlier this year.

"It's difficult for students to know when the line is crossed if we haven't defined what that line is," said principal Larry Harmon. "So the conversation was specifically about what is bullying and what isn't bullying."

Harmon said bullying, especially online, is affecting grades and absenteeism.

"Bullying is seen by students as a major barrier to be successful in school," he said. "What might be play online on Facebook, [when it] targets students here and affects learning, then we have to get involved."

Amanda Bueno said she can already see positive changes at Lamar.

"A lot of people are posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram," she said. "Come on, join the movement."