RAYMOND, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Kelsey Jackson-Beassie says she was bullied from fourth grade all the way through 12th, eventually forcing the Brookhaven woman to change schools.
"It was behind my back, turning the whole class against me, not including me at the same lunch tables, spend the night parties...things like that. It's more psychological than, you know, physical," described Beassie.
Now 20, she travels the country talking about the signs of bullying and its effects, especially with girls. Beassie's bullying education and prevention program, "Mean Girls Aren't Cool," is a tool for girls and educators.
"I would sit in my room by myself. I'd cry myself to sleep, and I saw how bad it was affecting me and I thought, you know, there's more people going through this than me and I want them to know, hey you're going to be ok," explained Beassie.
The Hinds County School District's 5th annual Dropout Prevention Education Summit is focusing on bullying. Thursday evening's workshop was designed to empower teachers and parents to open a line of communication with students, making them feel comfortable talking about a bullying situation.
Being the victim of that behavior can effect a child's self-esteem and class work.
Hinds County Schools Superintendent Steven Handley says the district is taking a proactive approach to combat bullying.
"When children do not have to worry about someone coming up and doing something to them or taking something from them or in this day in time, groups of children through social media have gang up on someone, then they are going to do better in school," explained Handley.
For parents who have seen the signs of bullying in their kids or their children's friends, they know it can happen anywhere and at anytime.
"We talk about it and try to give support and give support to her friends. So that when she go and asks them different questions, she has something to fall back on," explained parent Ollie Stewart.
More information on Beassie's program can be found at www.meangirlsnotcool.com