Bullying is becoming a growing epidemic in youths, which is why programs such as Bully Busters have emerged, aiming to educate students on the negative effects of bullying.

     Prairieville certified motivational speaker and real estate agent Halaine Guidry DeWerff and Baton Rouge author David Hollier created the program a few months ago as a way to increase awareness effects of bullying and to help students develop coping skills and ways to combat bullying. Both speakers have also had personal experiences with bullying as children and are currently co-authoring a book on bullying.

     “When a bully comes after a victim they put them down so much that many times they don’t recover,” DeWerff said. “They believe what the bully says because it’s a repetitive action and they believe they are worthless and not good at anything. They end up not reaching their full potential or going after all they are called because they believed what the bully said.”

      The Ascension resident noted that the ones who tend to be bullied the most are the quieter ones that will take what the bully is doing. With the program, the duo helps students go after their dreams, move forward with life, and teaches them options on what they can do if they are being bullied.

      Preventative measures to stop bullying include never being alone, hanging out and try to make friendships with classmates. DeWerff noted that the best way to help combat bullying is for classmates to look after one another and pull a victim out of bullying situations when they see it happening.

     “Walk away if you can, get out of the situation,” she said. “Bullies don’t want to be noticed. They are trying to overpower you and pull people against you to make you look bad.”

     According to the National Center for Education Statistics, bullying affects nearly one out of every four students in each school across the United States.

      Schools and youth programs interested in the Bully Busters program can contact David Hollier at (225) 202-7309, Halaine Guidry DeWerff at (225) 810-5040 or email bullybusters41@gmail.com