Teen helps bullied kids with 'I See U' group | News
HENDERSON, Nev. -- It's been about a week since Governor Brian Sandoval, R-NV, signed into law Senate Bill 504, the anti-bullying bill which means new policies have been put in place, so there's a faster notification time for parents when it comes to bullying incidents.
The bill also makes it easier for students and parents to report such cases. However, one local student took action against school bullying before the new regulations kicked in.
For the last three years, Darla Veitch, an 8th grader at Del Webb Middle School has made it her mission to sit with someone who's eating alone during her lunch break. On Tuesday, Darla's simple goal of sitting with one person who was eating alone turned into a school-wide movement.
The 14-year-old said she started the "I See U" club because did it because, for some kids, the school cafeteria can be the loneliest place in the world.
"When they are bullied you feel so alone, you feel isolated, and you feel no one is here to help you," Darla said. "The 'I See U' club shows us that we are not alone, we are not invisible."
The lonely feeling was something Darla knew all too well. Darla says her best friends started bullying her four years ago right after her father suddenly died.
"When I lost my dad to brain cancer, for some reasons, my friends were like this is the perfect opportunity to turn against her. To this day, I still don't know what I did wrong," Darla said.
Paula Naegle, the principal at Del Webb Middle School says her office investigates reports of bullying daily. She says staff and teachers are always on the look out for trouble, but when it comes to easing this problem -- that has to start with students like Darla.
"More than anything she knows that relationships are what motivate people and make kids want to come to school," said Naegle.
It's been three years since Darla started her "I See U" club which now has 40 members. Darla has even taken to the Internet to spread her message of hope.
"Who knows, maybe we can't stop bullying, but even if we can't change the world, we can change a life," said Darla.
Darla will attend Liberty High School in the Fall. She says she plans to launch an "I See U" club there as well.
Last year the Clark County School District investigated nearly 2,300 cases of bullying. Of all of the cases reported, 476 or about 20 percent of them were considered to be cyberbullying cases. For information on how you or your child can report bullying go here.