October is National Bullying Awareness Month, and schools across Lincoln Parish came together to stand up for unity and against bullying.

Cypress Springs Elementary School students gathered to give a message against bullying.

“I don’t think people should be treated badly, bullying or fighting with each other,” Joseph said.

“Because it’s rude, and the world shouldn’t be like that. They should be kind and sweet,” Camryn added.

Ruston High School student Sydney Moss says orange is the color of awareness.

“Orange is a color that stands out, just like bullying awareness should stand out. And I feel like the color orange symbolizes standing out, being different.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five high school students reported being bullied on school property in the last year. Ruston High School Principal Dan Gressett says school counseling is key to helping students cope with bullying.”

“Social media is some of those platforms where it is taking place, unfortunately. We have full time mental health counseling on staff. We also do some training with students.”

Moss says she recently experienced anxiety due to bullying.

“Yeah, it has some effects on me. I experienced anxiety and the physical feelings of headaches and confusion. Not being able to focus and not being able to operate like a normal student should.”

She says talking to her family has helped her cope with these challenges.

“I’m getting better. I’m making a lot of progress. Also, journaling is very important as well because even with the things you can’t say to people ,or to your parents just like your own intimidate feelings, you have a way of getting those out.”

If you or anyone you know is experiencing these challenges, you can call or text 988 to speak to someone. For more information click here.