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Parents & community members send out “stronger together” message at anti-bullying event

By Eric Naktin

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    Waianae Coast (KITV) — The message at Friday’s anti-bullying sign waving event at Maili Beach Park was clear – “Stronger Together”.

The mother of a child with severe disabilities, Melissa Harper-Osai, says her child was violated at James Campbell H.S. in Ewa Beach. The alleged person responsible was reportedly released on bail for the violation which included taking pictures in the restroom earlier this year.

Harper-Osai told KITV4 Friday, “Today we are making our way around Oahu and hopefully to the neighbor islands to bring awareness to bullying, harassment and cyber bullying, so I just want people to know that there is hope out there, and we can be stronger together, if we speak out and speak up against what’s happening in our schools all over Hawaii.”

Melissa’s continuing to advocate for her son and others throughout the state that are bullied. She’s heard from numerous people encountering the same issues.

“I feel like, since my son’s story came out, where he was violated at James Campbell high school, hundreds of people have been messaging me, and talking about what happened to their own children in the Hawaii School System, I would like to see them change Chapter 19, I would like to see them put signs in all bathrooms on campuses that say no videoing, no cellphones, no pictures, no cell phone usage, and I would like to have them take this more seriously”, said Harper-Osai.

It’s an issue for many that’s not going away.

Beverly Reidy, Education and Training Coordinator-Leadership, Disabilities and Achievement Hawaii told KITV4, “I think bullying and harassment has always been in our schools, but what’s made it worse is the social media.”

“I would like to see schools that take action, post signs in their bathroom – no picture taking, and when it happens, to put an end to it, find resolution, for the people who have been hurt, and get help for those who are doing the bullying and harassing”, added Reidy.

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