A discussion in Osage County about bullying will be held Thursday at the Osage County Community Center in Linn at 1811 U.S. 50 East.
After reports last month that a young Jefferson City girl's death may have been connected to bullying, a young Osage County boy decided he wanted to do something to create more awareness of the problem.
Jefferson City police have said the death of 12-year-old Eyana White was a suicide, but family members have said she was bullied at school and that led her to take her own life.
Issac Wieberg, 13, himself was bullied when he went to school, and the situation became so bad his mother, Robin, took him out of school and is now homeschooling him.
That shared experience is what has lead him to speak out about the warning signs of bullying and cyber-bullying, and tools that can be installed on computers and smart phones to stem the bullying.
Issac and another young victim of bullying will be speaking at 10 a.m. and at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Osage Center for Women's Ministry, 1016 Main St., Linn.
"It started out as just nitpicking, but it escalated to me getting beat up," he said. "One time, a kid tried to choke me with a necklace, and another tackled me and pinned me on the ground."
Robin remembers vividly when Issac was is fifth grade and she found a note under his pillow. It was a suicide note.
"When my husband and I talked to him, he told us he was done with being picked on," she said. "He told us he was going to wait for us to go to sleep and then slice his throat."
After going through more rough times at school and being evaluated by doctors, Robin decided to take Issac out of school when she found out he tried to slit his wrists with safety scissors.
"He had told us he didn't feel right and couldn't control his emotions," she said. "Then the bullying started against his sister, and she told us immediately because she'd seen what her brother went through. I ended up calling the sheriff's department, and they got juvenile authorities involved, which we learned later they should have been involved starting back when Issac first got bullied."
All four of Robin's kids are being home-schooled.
"It's a system where people need to take responsibility, and no one wants to because no one wants to make anybody mad,"she said.
"Things are a lot better now," Issac said. "I've got a lot of friends in our home-school group. I'm just hoping to get this story out so nobody else has to go through this."
"He's wanted to do this for a long time," Robin said. "Eyana's death occurred about a year after he attempted suicide so that hit close to home. Everybody thinks bullying only affects one child, but it affects everyone in the family. Kids knew what was going on, but no one wanted to say anything for fear of retaliation."
For more information about Thursday's presentations, call 897-9920.