aledo, mercer county, suicide awareness, anti-bullying community, abc, valerie

New support drives Anti-Bullying Community even further

ALEDO, Illinois-- Six months ago, Valerie Carlson took her own life. Her friends and classmates at Mercer County High School have spent every day since fighting for bullying to be handled better at schools.

Now, they are finally starting to see a difference.

"At first we didn't really have a lot of school support and now we do where a lot of the issues are happening they are actually helping us try and resolve everything," said Mallory Mazzocco. Mallory and her friend Makayla started an Anti-Bullying Community, where they are working with politicians and now school officials to find an answer for bullying and suicide.

Mercer County High joined the long list of local schools launching P-3 campus, an app for students to anonymously submit tips to police and school officials.

"It looks like we're really starting to make a change and we're starting to get our name out there and people are starting to see what we're doing," said Makayla Thomas.

In September they spent every day honoring their lost friend. By wearing her favorite color, imitating her style or painting. This month, National Bullying Prevention month, ABC is taking it one step further by starting weekly meetings on campus.

"I've had about 15-10 students tell me that they support the meeting and I've had I'd say 5-20 say they want to be apart of it and I've even had students tell me their personal experiences with bullying and what they are going through and how much this group means to them," said Thomas.

With students and teachers behind them they know they are making their friend proud.

"Valerie always wanted someone to be kind and the fact that a whole group of people is being kind now I know she's smiling down on us right now," said Thomas.

The group has its first meeting on Wednesday, October 10. All students are welcome to attend.