10/16/12 — Local mom takes aim at bullying

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Local mom takes aim at bullying

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 16, 2012 1:46 PM

Saddened by stories about young people who were bullied turning to violence, Terasina Hayes decided to do something about it right here at home.

So, she launched her own anti-bullying campaign.

"I don't know where the idea came from," she said. "I'm not a public speaker at all. I'm just trying to reach out to help because you never know what's going to happen."

It's an issue she has already tackled in her own home.

As the mother of four -- an 11-year-old, 14-year-old and two at Eastern Wayne High School -- she said sibling rivalry can be a challenge. But she tried to nip it in the bud to curb any potential bullying behavior.

"I told (my children) that's just something you don't do," she said. "You don't want anybody to do that to you."

With the help of her mother, Thomasine Cowan, also of Goldsboro, Ms. Hayes decided to take the message further -- into the school system.

"This summer, I started working on it," she said. "So far, I haven't done a whole lot. It's just trying to get it all together."

She first approached the central office, then offered to do programs at individual schools.

A Zumba instructor, she also did a Zumba party fundraiser Labor Day weekend to raise money for her non-profit, which she calls "Anti-Bully 2012-2013."

Now she is in the process of ordering stickers and bracelets to sell to further promote the effort, and has a large poster board featured prominently in her school presentations for students to sign.

"It's for the kids to pledge against bullying," she explained. "The commitment is, you know, from what I've learned so far, when you pledge not to bully, that you're just taking an oath not to bully but also if you see someone else being bullied, to let someone else know, like a teacher or another adult."

At present, her hour-long presentation is being done for students in some of the younger grades.

She is open to expanding it and as the school year goes on, has her sights set on a larger scale event.

"I'm trying to plan a carnival-type atmosphere for the kids who pledge," she said. "There's a lot to be done but I think it will all be worth it."

For more information on the program, contact Ms. Hayes at 1-888-419-7646.