Cheektowaga, N.Y. (WKBW) - Bullying is not a new concept but it's been brought into the forefront of everyone minds since the suicide of Williamsville native Jaime Rodemeyer. His death is blamed on harassment. Now, schools are taking a proactive approach.
"We decided to get counselors together to see what each school is doing to combat bullying," JFK Counselor Suzanne Brocci said.
Counselors from more than 15 schools were represented at the meeting at JFK Middle School in Cheektowaga. JFK's counselor Suzanne Brocci said students and staff at her school signed a pledge that they would report any bulling. They also have what they call a "Help Box" where kids can report bully they see around their school.
"We really need to have a comprehensive program. We need to reach out to parents teachers students and work together with families. Educate kids on how to handle this," Brocci said.
West Seneca West Middle School Counselor Rob Lares was at the meeting. Students at his school have been heavily involved in anti-bullying events the passed few weeks.
"Our Program is called Take Action. It's a student involvement event. It's really rallying our students as by standers to take action regarding harassment and we shifted our program to spreading kindness a little bit more," Lares said.
Lares said the programs have been working.
"I've had a lot more students coming to me and telling me things they see and here in the locker room, on the bus or around the building," Lares said.
The group also discussed cyber bullying and they said this is an issue that will be ever changing as technology improves.
"It's not just happening in the hallways it's happening on the bus through an iPhone and in a bedroom on computers so we're rallying to get stuff out to parents on how to keep an eye on things at home," Lares said.
So whether it's nasty word in school or evil Facebook comments, school districts across Western New York are taking a stand against any type of bullying.