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Anti-Bullying Movement in the QCA

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DAVENPORT, IA – An anti-bullying walk was held to remember 14-year-old Alice Schmitt, who committed suicide earlier this month. Her family and friends are hoping to grow the anti-bullying movement in the Quad Cities.

Rebecca Crane, Alice’s friend, says, “The group of people that bullied her kind of pushed her to a point where no one deserves to be pushed.”

Crane says the loss of her friend has changed her perspective on life. “It’s affected me emotionally and it made me realize whether you know the person or not, you can always help. You can always be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on. You can always be there for someone.”

With the power of social media, experts say bullying has gotten worse over time. Anti-bully preventionist, Gabriella van Rij, says, “Today’s student deals with bullying on the playground, in the classroom, at home – it’s non-stop. It’s 24 hours. You have to think if you have three students ganging up on you, suddenly it’s 30, 300, 3000.”

Alice’s mother, Sherrie Schmitt, says it hurts her every day to know that her daughter took her own life. She wants to tell others, “There is hope. It’s a permanent solution for a temporary problem. All they have to do is reach out and talk to someone. Someone out there cares.”

Each day without her daughter is painful, but she gets up and moves forward knowing that she can change the future of someone else’s life.  Sherrie Schmitt says, “I’m here today to support these k ids, to make this movement go on, to prevent children as well as adults in their path of feeling alone.”

Sherrie Schmitt adds, “Not enough people tell us how wonderful and loved we are, so we need to be there for one another.”

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