Bullying Deaths - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Bullying Deaths

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A Cody teenager killed himself last fall, after being bullied for years. His mother told KULR-8 she complained to school authorities since her son was in kindergarten, but nothing was done. Now, people in Cody want to do something about the problem.

Late on a rainy morning, people went to the theatre in Cody. They came to see the movie Bully: a documentary that explores the lives, and sudden deaths of young people tortured by their peers.

That was the situation with 16-year-old Kyle Wells who killed himself last October. His adopted mother, and his best friend blamed Bullying.

In November, Sharon Wells said, "All through school, I was at the school once or twice a year discussing the bullying problems and what was being said to him, and what effects it was having on him and things, and nothing ever changed."

People in Cody talked about Wells death, and bullying, on the radio, and in private meetings. But, now, a group of counselors from the Yellowstone Behavioral Center say it's time for the community to do something.

Grief Intensive Therapist Angela Hansen said, "It's not just happening here in Cody. It's happening all across America, in every community."

The women brought the documentary Bully to Cody, where it played admission free. The movie will be shown again, Saturday, May 11 at the Big Horn Cinemas, admission free. Then, there's going to be a community discussion

Hansen explained, "When you mention this topic, everybody has an opinion. But what we need to do is come together and work collaboratively together."

These women don't want finger pointing.

Youth and Family Therapist Alex Harvey said, "It seems like there's a lot of pressure on the schools. That the school needs to take care of the bullying issue. It's all up to them. When really Bully is a community wide program, because these kids have access to each other 24/7 through internet, through texting."

The counselors were hopeful when they announced the showing of the documentary. They were surprised when so many people showed up. They hope even more people come to the next showing, and to the community conversation.

Case Manager Ashley Skates said, "There are people who want so badly to say something about it and don't know how. That's why we're having this forum."

The movie Bully will be shown with free admission at 11 a.m. Saturday

May11 at the Big Horn Cinema in Cody. The counselors say they have not set a date, time and place for the community forum.