One of the nation's top speakers on school bullying spent all day Wednesday in West Des Moines.
Jodee Blanco is a New York Times best-selling author of "Please Stop Laughing At Me” and “Please Stop Laughing At Us."
Blanco spoke to students at St. Francis about her personal experience of being bullied. She says when she was young; her friends shunned her simply because she befriended a person with disabilities.
“It's not just joking around, bullying really hurts and it can damage you for life, and bullying isn't just the mean things you do I tell kids, it's the nice things you never do that not including someone even if it's not on purpose is a form of passive bullying and equally as damaging,” says Blanco.
The students learned the importance of telling an adult when they spot bullying and confronting the problem head on.
St. Francis Principal Misty Hade says it's important for the school to talk about this issue and educate their students.
“We wanted to show our parents that we're not close minded to the situation out there and to bring it to the forefront,” says Hade.
Blanco ended by having the students take a vow to help control bullying at their school.
She hopes sharing her story will help these kids make better decisions.
“It's extraordinary because I know I’m making a difference, which is amazing,” says Blanco.
Blanco is hosting an event with families Wednesday night at St. Francis School.
It is free and open to the public.
It begins at 7:00 p.m. at the school, which is located at 7075 Ashworth Road in West Des Moines.
For more information on Jodee Blanco you can visit her website at, http://jodeeblanco.com/