Sequoyah High School students start 'Preventers' club to raise awareness, speak out against bullying

STILLWELL, Okla. - One speech with a strong message. 

"I think it will help me because of what all I've been through and what I can do," Summer Guess said. 

Sequoyah High School students stood before a classroom of their peers, hoping teens like Guess would walk away from the classroom a changed person.

"I just want to prevent bullying and keep kids have a better life because the youth, they're the next generation, and we want them to have the best life they can," Grant Neugin said. 

A new club at Sequoyah High School known as the "Preventers" spoke out against bullying and its harmful effects on teenagers at Peavine School in Adair County Wednesday. 

More than 25 students served as mentors to their peers and spoke about ways to handle bullying and prevent it from happening. 

"Bullying is a big deal in America and even in Oklahoma," Neugin said. "We want to reach out to everybody the best we can." 

The Preventers read stories from bullying victims to a classroom of students and had students act out bullying scenarios. The group also had students write down their own experiences with bullying. 

Guess, a bullying victim herself, said the assignments were much-needed and were a big help in fight against bullying. 

"I've been called names... I never speak up," she said. "I was really scared. So now I know I will tell somebody about it."

Neugin said he hopes other schools in Oklahoma and the United States will start the anti-bullying and suicide prevention program. He believes it helps reduce the rate of bullying and suicide in the America and raises awareness to depression. 

"It allows me to have the opportunity to go and change someone else's life... preventing bullying helps people with their education in school and helps them be more sociable and have fun, as well," Neugin said. 

The Preventers have visited six schools since the group started in January 2014. 

Cherokee Nation Behavioral Health trained the students on mental health first aid last summer. Each "Preventer" is a certified mental health first-aid responder.

For more information about the Preventers, contact Rebecca Brant at Sequoyah High School. 

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