By Wendy Holdren
The fifth annual West Virginia Bully Awareness Week is slated for Oct. 8-12 and will kick off with a candlelight vigil at the state Capitol in Charleston.
Tonya Barnett Huff, program coordinator for the Bully Awareness Prevention Program, said a week of activities have been suggested to encourage awareness in schools and communities statewide.
The vigil will be hosted from 6 to 8 p.m. Community members, politicians and prevention groups will join to remember those lost.
Huff said the vigil will also acknowledge the loss of self-esteem that so many have suffered from bullying.
“People don’t realize that when a child goes through bullying, a part of them is lost. They lose self-esteem and self-confidence.”
She said Oct. 10 will be “Wacky Wednesday,” and everyone will be asked to embrace their differences and let their wacky side show.
“We want to let everyone know that it’s OK to be different,” Huff said. “No two people are alike.”
Friday will be “Creative Day,” and everyone is asked to find a creative way to promote bullying awareness.
Huff said last year’s vigil had a huge turnout and she expects the crowd will be even larger this year.
Counties that are unable to attend, however, are still being asked to create their own awareness campaigns.
“We never know who can be a victim. Everyone is at risk for bullying.”
For more, visit www.stopbullying.gov.