Marion police battle bullying

Marion Police Asst Chief Dewayne Tennie showing pictures of celebrities who say they've been bullied to kids.

Marion Police Department's Assistant Chief Dewayne Tennie and Lt. Thomas Graves have talked with 400 students in recent weeks as part of the department's anti-bullying campaign.

The officers are talking with students about the different types of bullying, including cyber and social bullying.

"A lot of kids are being bullied by getting into gangs and trying drugs. We're letting them know if anyone approaches you and try to bully you, tell that person stop bullying and walk away," said Assistant Chief Tennie.

They talked with about 85 youngsters Monday involved in the RISE summer education program.

The officers said they're hearing stories from children as young as five years old who say they've been bullied.

"We have to get it out to the parents especially. The parents have to know but be that the parents don't see it. They don't know what's going on. So, we're trying to get it to the kids. Let someone know because it starts at a very early age," said Lt. Thomas.

Educators in Marion say they're glad the officers are taking time out to help students overcome bullying.

"All 85 of my students need this. Because in about one week we will be having back to school programs and I want to continue those programs with the officers. Because we need it all year and not just today," said Elista Smith, with the RISE summer program.

Officers encouraged the students to tell a teacher, principal, parent or responsible adult if someone is bullying them.

The students pledged to do their part to stop bullying whether in school or in their community.