Anti-bullying message spreading to other states
SAN ANTONIO -- More than 1,000 students in the Natalia Independent School District made a pledge Monday, promising not to bully.
It was all part of an effort by SABullyFree. The organization travels to school districts in the San Antonio area and encourages students not to bully.
Colorado mom Alma Blanco was among the students taking the pledge on Monday.
She made the trip just to see the event.
"It was amazing,” said Blanco. “All the kids paying attention and taking an oath. I took the oath."
Blanco’s San Antonio connection is Epi Quiroga, founder of SA Bully Free.
Quiroga made it his mission to stop bullying after his brother, world champion boxer Robert Quiroga, was murdered by a bully.
“We ask everybody in the audience to make a commitment, take an oath that they're not going to take part in bullying behavior,” Quiroga said. “To stop the hate in our community and our world. That's what it's all about.”
At first, Blanco didn't know Quiroga, but she introduced herself on Facebook after seeing his posts about SABullyFree pop up on her feed.
“I said well I need to go down there and I want to see what he's doing and ow he's doing it, because that's what I want to do. I want to make a change,” said Blanco.
Her determination comes from her son's experience with bullying at schools in Colorado.
Her 16-year-old son Noah has special needs and Blanco says he's been targeted by bullies since his freshman year.
“He got anxiety. I had numerous texts for me to pick him up from school. He was afraid to go to school,” she said. “Literally he was ill.”
Now she's determined to take Quiroga’s program back home to help her son and other kids.
“I want to be a voice for them,” she said.
Quiroga is willing to take his anti-bullying pep rally to any school or school district in the San Antonio area for free.
Just last week he visited with Jefferson High School.