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Baltimore Conference Hopes To Stop Bullying

BALTIMORE (WJZ)  -- It's been estimated that up to 80 percent of school kids are, at some time, the victims of bullies. 

Now, as Mike Schuh reports, a conference in Baltimore will try to bring those numbers down.

At some point, nearly all school kids get bullied, whether it's physical, verbal or emotional.  When she was only 9, Shauna Ratliff was the victim of all three.  She kept her secret for a full year.

"It affected me tremendously, because I have a fear, a fear of meeting new people," Ratliff said.  "You never know who wants to bully you, who's going to do something to you."

Once she told an adult and switched schools, she never had another problem.  But for a while, it affected how she thought of herself.

That's what scares educators.

"When you think of bullying, it's like thinking of religion or gender, it's so widespread," said conference organizer Dr. Tekemia Dorsey.

So an anti-bullying conference was held Saturday.

"The biggest thing is to seek help.  If you seek help, we'll stop seeing suicide, depression, stop seeing kids isolate from their friends at school because they're scared to be around the bullies," said Dr. Knichole Taylor.

Ratliff's advice: tell someone.

"I'm like, just tell someone because it's going to hurt you in the long run," she said.

"Believe in themselves and stand up for what they know is right," Dorsey said.

In the coming months, the group which organized Saturday's conference is bringing their message to other parts of the state.

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