YMCA of Greater San Antonio Brings Together Anti-Bullying Advocates to Shine a Light on the Power of Community
It is a story that we have come to recognize when we turn on the evening news. Bullying affects millions of students every year. According to stompoutbullying.org, cyberbullying is at an all-time high. Nearly 35% of kids have been bullied online once, while 53% of kids admit to having had said something mean or hurtful to someone online.
In May of 2016, the Alamo Heights community in San Antonio took headlines when a well-known 16 year-old boy took his own life after being bullied on Facebook and through text messages. Even after transferring to different schools, the bullying did not end and charges were never filed. While it is clear that something must be done to hold “bullies” accountable, something also must be done to prevent those who are being bullied from feeling that the only solution is to take their own life."
In October, the Westside Family YMCA held an event to begin closing that gap. They came together with the local group Isaac’s Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the San Antonio Police Department, the San Antonio Fire Department and more, to host an anti-bullying awareness event. The free event honored a 7 year-old boy named Drevan who has twice tried to commit suicide due to bullying.
The Westside Family YMCA gifted Drevan’s family with a full scholarship to the YMCA and a Y board member gifted Drevan with swim lessons.
The relationships that came out of the October event are just as powerful as the event itself. Our strength is definitely in our community and we will continue to connect people of all backgrounds to bridge the gap in community needs.