Anti-Bullying Summit in Downtown Buffalo

October 6, 2011 Updated Oct 6, 2011 at 5:34 PM EDT

By WKBW News

October 6, 2011 Updated Oct 6, 2011 at 5:34 PM EDT

BUFFALO (WKBW) After the tragic death of Jamey Rodemeyer, the 14 year old Williamsville North student who took his own life after years of bullying, the topic is now back in the national spotlight. Thursday, hundreds of local student-leaders from area schools met to try to do something about problem.

The First Niagara Center was the site of BlueCross BlueShield's first ever leadership and anti-bullying youth summit.

"Bullying right now is such a big issue for so many children and young adults, and so we want to be part of the solution," Julie Snyder of BlueCross BlueShield said.

"We want them to understand and empower themselves that they can stand up to what's going on, recognize what's going on, go get some help," health promotion specialist Cheryl Crouse said.

Students from across the region attended sessions on how to combat bullying, as well as leadership activities and service exercises.

"If we learn we can go into our schools and help. If we see bullying we can stop it and we can influence others and hopefully have a good effect," Newfane High School student Gabby Burns said.

"So that kids my age won't be subjected to bullying, and they'll know what to do when they're being bullied, or see other people being bullied," Isaiah Barret of Wilson High added.

"To help people who are getting bullied, stop people from bullying other people, and make it just a better day in high school for everyone," Aaron Matsulavage of Newfane High School said.

Some teachers and counselors also attended the youth summit, working with students toward the common goal of putting an end to bullying.

Evelyn Arent is a teacher at Lafayette High School.

"I'm hoping they go back, and bring all the skills they learned here back into the school, and become leaders, and then to promote that bullying is not right," she said.

"I think what we're doing today is a piece of the puzzle, and we're very hopeful that out of today we can start to see some positive results," Julie Snyder added.