Former bully tells story of change

Leadership Class member Julie Hill, of West Point, talks to students during Thursday’s program.
Staff Writer

Some Fifth Street School students heard first-hand what a difference bullying can make in a student’s life and how one person can make a difference.

Wes Schrickel, of Columbus, Ohio, related his story of being a bully headed down the wrong path in the seventh grade until one student reached to him.

“He befriended me, his family took me in as a second son. It turned my life around. I don’t know where I would be today if it hadn’t happened,” Schrickel said, describing a life that already involved drugs and alcohol before he found a friend.

Schrickel’s presentation is part of the service project undertaken by the Golden Triangle Leadership Class, a group of young professionals who meet monthly to immerse themselves in different parts of the region’s society, from government and health care to education and the arts. The program is a collaborative effort of the chambers of commerce in Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties.

The leadership class is focusing on bullying as its group project.

Also as part of Thursday’s program at Fifth Street, class members handed out pledge cards for the students to sign. The colorful cards lay out the basics of being a “nice kid” and steering others away from bullying. They also presented a large banner that will hang in the school evoking the same messages.

The school’s faculty and staff chose two sixth-graders and two seventh-graders as “Star Students” for their behavior and attitude in school. They were presented medals. The awards went to sixth-graders Alice White and Christina Keenum and seventh-graders Draygon Thompson and Javeon Love.