Part 1: Battle Against Bullying 

Looking at High School Junior Kyle LeBlanc, you’d never know the torment he endures.Kyle describes himself as a very caring person, “I’m really nice, I’m shy at times, I’m nice to everyone, like I’m not mean to anyone.”Perhaps so nice because Kyle knows what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a bully’s hateful words.The harrassment started when Kyle was a 5th grader in Connecticut.Kyle remembers some of his darkest days, “They would harass me, threaten me, just do like really horrible threats and then I’d be picked on. There’d be jokes about me that I didn’t know about. Sometimes I would stay home, like I would try to convince my mom to let me stay home because I did not want to go to school. It was horrible for me.”Kyle says he always knew who he was, and his Freshman year at Belfast Area High School, he decided to let everyone else know…”I know who i am, i know it’s not a phase, I’m gay.”Coming out to both his parents and friends wasn’t easy…and was a decision that only fueled the bully’s fire.”I was having second thoughts about it, but then it was like, I’m glad I came out because now I don’t have to hide who I am.”While bullying was once seen as a right of passage on the playground, technology has made victims available to their tormentors 24/7.Through texting, Facebook, or even blogs, the vicious cycle of spite continues for all the world to see..and for bully’s to hide behind.Kyle has his own theory as to why people bully, “That they’re just cowards because they can’t say it to your face…people need to grow up…it hurts me when there’s rumors spread about me and I don’t know about it.”A hurt that a parent can see on their child’s face, which is why Kyle’s parents have committed to joining forces with him when it comes to dealing with bullies.Kyle’s dad, Paul says “I would like to see more classes with teachers and parents on the subject of bullying, to come together so that teachers are more aware of it because a lot of teachers are not aware of what’s going on.”And Kyle appreciates the fact that his parents are involved, “Some kids think they can handle it themselves and are like I don’t need to tell my parents to tell me what to do. I’ll do this myself.”As reports of teen suicides as a result of bullying splash across the headlines…”I don’t know, I just think it’s really shallow when you pick on someone that you don’t know about their life, like they could have a hard life and you’re making it even worse for them…” Kyle vows to turn his hateful experience with bullying, into a positive one.He has big plans for the future saying, “I want to do like assemblies about lesbians and gays and transsexual to educate kids to tell them that even though we like the same sex or something, we’re still like everyone else.”