JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – 9 On Your Side has taken a stand against it for awhile now. Thousands of children are bullied every day.
But instead of doing nothing about the issue, some photographers in the East are taking a stand themselves. Dyal Photography Studio in Jacksonville is tackling the issue one snapshot at a time.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and there’s no doubt these children have something to say. You’d never know it but they’ve all been bullied.
“Mostly they just called me names, one person said that they would run me over with a train,” said Paige Jamison.
They’re just 10, 12, and 15 years old but last year Paige, Mackenzie and Ryne were ready to give up.
“It was non-stop, I’d get on the bus, get a text, go home, get a facebook message…I turned to drugs because that’s who i was accepted with,” said Ryne Reece.
“Once, this kid said he wanted to strangle me just to watch me die. That was it. I went home. My mom could not touch me I was crying so bad and I told her I wanted to end my life,” said Mackenzie Davis.
That is until they met photographer Tricia Dyal. She was so touched by the story of a 10-year-old girl who took her own life, she knew she had to take a stand.
“My mom called me and said for me to hug my girls and tell them how powerful their words are,” said Dyal.
That’s why she designed the “Inside Out” program. Several times a month Dyal and her team connect with local schools. Teachers, parents, and other students can nominate kids who have been affected by bullying. 10 students from each school get a free photo shoot at Dyal Photography, complete with hair and makeup.
“Bullying is a lot different from when we were children. The more awareness you have, the more likely you are going to be successful at intervening,” said Leslie Seas, with Inside Out.
Ryne, Mackenzie and Paige were some of the first to get the experience.
Since the photo shoot, the kids say they have a new attitude. Words may be powerful, but a smile – that’s invincible.
If you’d like more information on the “Inside Out” program or want to nominate a school, visit: http://www.theinsideoutproject.org