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Young Heroes Crew aims to help local students who are bullied

A local licensed counselor is seeing more bullied children in her practice, so she is using unique ways to tackle the problem.

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Art instructor, Kristin Ellingson, works with "Young Heroes" at Elephant in the Room Counseling in Fargo, as part of an effort to combat bullying in our community.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News
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FARGO — It happens in our classrooms, school hallways, lunchrooms and even on social media.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says bullying in school is happening to at least 20% of the country's teenagers. The CDC reports nearly 15% of North Dakota high school students are being bullied on social media sites.

Art instructor Kristin Ellingson is used to teaching art in a school classroom, but on this night, she is using her talents to help middle and high school students who are trying to deal with bullies at their school.

Kim Douglas owns Elephant in the Room Counseling in Fargo, and she has started a group called Young Heroes Crew. The aim is to create a safe place for adolescents experiencing bullying to have fun and make friends.

"It's getting worse. We have 11, 12, 13-years-olds attempting suicide — and some completing suicide — because of bullying," Douglas said.

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She decided after seeing so many teens struggle with bullying, that she had to do something.

"To have someone to talk to about it, I think, is a really good first step, and someone that's not mom or dad, because they open up a lot more in here. It's amazing, but they do in any counselor's office," Douglas said.

Cassie is here with her 13-year-old daughter Rochelle. They are taking part in Young Heroes.

"I actually got bullied when I was in seventh grade," Cassie said. "(A)nd it was a constant from seventh to twelfth grade, every day of my life," Cassie said. The families asked we not use their last names.

More from WDAY's Kevin Wallevand

They say this class is a way to connect with other parents and young people going through the same thing.

"(It's) very hard to see your kid go through something that you went through," Cassie said.

Eighth-grader Lexi says activities like the art projects done at Young Heroes Crew is a lot more than just glue and paper maché. It's healing.

"I feel like it's beneficial because you can realize that some people out there are like you, even though you might think you're alone in this," Lexi said.

Related Topics: FARGOKEVIN WALLEVAND
Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

Contact Email: kwallevand@wday.com
Phone Number: (701) 241-5317
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