A national campaign geared towards bringing hope to many young people facing harassment in school is making its way to Kern County. The video essays are just one way to assure teens that things do get better.
Shay Harleston is familiar with being bullied.
"Growing up, I was picked on a lot especially in elementary and junior high and a lot of times my parents would go to the school and a lot of time the issues wouldn't be resolved in the school," he said.
The bullying was so bad; Harleston and his parents decided he would be home-schooled.
"I really never considered suicide an option because if I had committed suicide then I would have let the bullies win so; instead I just turned to doing what I like doing like reading or doing computer things," he said.
The "It Gets Better" project is an online campaign letting young gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people know they're not alone and it’s something community activist Robert Petersen wants to showcase in a locally produced version.
“Kids are bullied not just for their sexual orientation, but their preserve orientation, bullied for being heavy or going to the wrong classes or hanging out with a different type of group," said Robert Petersen who is leading the local campaign.
The national project includes famous faces and other young people willing to tell their own bullying story.
Leaders with the project are working with alumni from several area schools and could use more help for the campaign.
"I want people to know that there are other people out there and that there are organizations that they can go to if they need help if they need to talk to somebody," said Sheri Allard who is participating in the video project.
Organizers say people can talk about their experiences at school, church or even work in these two minute video essays.
"No bullying should happen anytime, we're just all the same," she said.
For more information on the project, visit: www.itgetsbetter.org
And to be involved in the local campaign e-mail project leaders at IGB.Bakersfield@yahoo.com