Nearly 2000 Oahu elementary students took a pledge against bullying
State Department of Education reports the number of bullying cases dropped between 2015 and 2017. There's hope the trend will continue.
Nearly 2,000 elementary school students took a pledge against bullying Monday. State Department of Education reports the number of bullying cases dropped between 2015 and 2017. There's hope the trend will continue.
The students gathered at the annual Pearl Conference at the Blaisdell and they took what's called the "PEARL" pledge, promoting peace, empathy, acceptance, respect and love.
Waipahu High School sophomore Mai-Lyng Moli performed a skit about cyber bullying. To her, it's personal. She says her brother was bullied in middle school.
"He was wearing white pants and she came out of nowhere and it was a rainy day and she swiped her mud on his pants then pushed him and left him and when my brother went to the teacher to tell, the teacher didn't do anything," Moli said.
To crack-down, DOE wants the rules changed at the high school level, making bullying Class A offense, the most serious category. From kindergarten through eighth grade, it wants it listed as a Class B offense.
"A lot of kids raised their hands today when they were asked how many of you were bullied or how many have bullied someone and a lot of hands were raised today," Deborah Spencer-Chun, president and CEO, Adult Friends for Youth, said.
Monday's conference hopes it helps create more peaceful communities.
"We want to start educating the kids at a younger age because just giving them knowledge about things to look out for, what not to do and just to be mindful and respectful of other people's feelings," Sgt. Chris Kim, Honolulu CrimeStoppers, said.
Honolulu CrimeStoppers encourages students to take advantage of their mobile app. Last year they received 2,700 tips. This year, they expect more.
"People find it more convenient and our kids are so tech savvy. And once again it gives you that anonymity when you do it via the app versus calling in on the hotline," Kim said.
Asking for help is a crucial first-step. Something Moli did for her brother and it worked.
"He goes against it now and he stands up for himself and stands up for others who don't have a voice for themselves... If they don't speak up, then there's not much that can change because you're trying to make a difference for the better," she said.