Opelousas mom launches community youth project to address bullying

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OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY)- An Opelousas mom plans to help deter bullying in her community with a project she’s started, using a box that  encouraging youth to speak up.

“Listen.” “Leave.” “Tell.” The three word phrase created by Shauna Sias is being promoted to spread a powerful message among youth in the state. 
 In light of recent bullying-stemmed suicides, she created the #BullyBox project to help promote safe self-expression.” 
 The recent suicide of 13-year-old Traeh Thyssen of Baton Rouge went viral after his mother said students cut his hair on multiple occasions and bullied him.

“His siblings found him hanging in the closet. I couldn’t just sit by and do nothing,” said Sias. 

She was so crushed by this,  it inspired her to create this idea.  “It’s a tangible item. It is a box. You put submissions in it, but I want it to be more of a lifestyle,” she added. 

The BullyBox is a locked box that students can use to deposit notes about bullying they’re experiencing. It is similar to  confessional, she hopes to have in all Pre-K through high school campuses.

“To be able to say who, what, when where, why, they’re either doing these things or if these things are being done to them,” said Sias. 

Opelousas Councilwoman of District E  Chasity Davis Williams jumped on board with the project. She has a teen center she plans to begin implementing the box in while partnering with Sias to spread the message, .

 “To be more open about it, because more kids are being bullied than we even know,” said Davis-Williams. 

They plan to  hold programs and assemblies based on student submissions to address what issues they are facing on campuses, in homes and neighborhoods. 

 “I don’t think they’re talking about it enough,” Davis-Williams added. 

The group  says the concept is very simple, but can make a huge difference in saving adolescent lives. .  

 “You listen for words that make you feel uncomfortable, leave and go to a place where you feel safe and then you go tell someone about the incident,” said Sias. 
The first box was placed at Opelpousas High School earlier this month.  It is the first of it’s kind in a Louisiana school. lora lavigne klfy news 10.”
 Bully Box deliveries are also being made to Opelousas Junior High and middle schools. 
An anti-bullying community awareness event is scheduled for November 23, 2019 at South City Park in Opelousas. 
To support this initiative, contact Shauna Sias at siasshauna@yahoo.com

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