INDIO, Calif. - Recent studies show an increase in cyberbullying across the country. On Friday students at a middle school in Indio took an anti-bullying pledge, after hearing just how dangerous bullying can be.
Riverside Medical Clinic Charitable Foundation's Anti-Bullying Institute visited Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Indio on Friday. Students watched a video featuring a number of parents whose children committed suicide because of bullying.
The executive director of Riverside Medical Clinic Charitable Foundation's Anti-Bullying Institute Program, Lynda Bailey, is making it her goal to visit as many schools as possible to educate students about bullying.
"Children are getting electronic devices earlier and earlier, so their exposure to bullying is not only in school, but now it's coming home with them with the electronic devices and on social media, so the subject of bullying needs to be brought up at a young age," said Bailey.
The Anti-Bullying Institute is partnered with local radio stations 100.5 and 92.7 whose radio personality also visited the school and shared her own stories about being bullied.
Family members suspect 15-year-old Elizabeth Castro Leon committed suicide this week on Interstate 10. While it's not clear what was going on in Leon's life, the principal at Thomas Jefferson says now is the time to talk about these difficult issues.
"Our community itself has just been touched with the young lady from Indio High School, which happens to be our feeder school. This has just been brought to our attention and now, how can we equip our students to go out there and do and say the right things to avoid a tragedy that happened like it did at Indio High School? It's just so timely," said Margo McCormick, principal at Thomas Jefferson.