Residents pack Opelousas City Hall for anti-bullying forum

OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) – Opelousas City Hall was packed Wednesday night as residents talked about ways to stop bullying.

The meeting comes after a 12-year-old Opelousas boy took his own life last week because of bullying.

“Stop the bullying” a message heard loud and clear in Opelousas as the community rallies together to fight bullying in St. Landry Parish.

One by one parents shared their stories about bullying.

Meagan Louviere’s 11-year-old son has been a victim of bullying.

“He’s has been dealing with bullying for the past year and a half,” said Louviere.

Just last week a 12-year-old boy took his life after being bullied, a fear Louviere hopes never becomes a reality.

“So it’s very frustrating to know that he’s going through that, and I’ve had those thoughts…that it’s just too much for him to handle,” said Louviere.

Louviere said she feels comforted knowing city officials are taking the issue seriously.

“I feel much better now knowing that there’s so many people here in the community that want to make a difference and that there are places he can go to talk to someone.”

St. Landry Parish Superintendent Patrick Jenkins said he’s looking to add more counselors in schools and to create a district-wide policy specifically for bullying.

“So a great first start and I think we can start laying some groundwork and some foundation building tonight so we can move forward as a community.”

Opelousas Mayor Reginald Tatum invites the community to join in on the cause.

“We want to find out what we can do as a community to stop the bullying and also we want to give an outlet to the parents and to the kids so they don’t feel like they are hopeless,” said Tatum.

Mayor Tatum said the conversation doesn’t end here, meetings will now be held monthly.

 

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