SPRINGFIELD -- October is National Bullying Awareness Month and one group is making sure kids in Sangamon County take part. The Boys and Girls Club is a place students can go to after school to feel safe; they eat, play and learn there.
Tuesday's lesson wasn't about math or science, but about bullying: an issue spotted in hallways around the country. And one Mateo Perez has dealt with first hand.
"When they do it to me, I want to scream. It makes me angry, it doesn't make me sad, it makes me angry. They're talking about me, sometimes they're talking about my mother. I don't like that," he said.
The 11-year-old says he finally stood up to his bullies. He told them to stop and then told a teacher. Counselor Beth Lafata says he did the right thing.
"We need to make them feel safe at school and let them know that they have a voice and they need to use their voice to seek authority to seek help and to help each other," she said.
It's that message she hopes to spread with a booklet she and others in Sangamon County helped create, called, SchoolTime: Dealing with Bullying. It outlines what bullying means and what to do to stop it.
To get a copy of the booklet, just visit: www.parenthelpline.org