Last week, the Porterville City Council considered an anti-bullying program that local students had designed. The program, entitled “Safe Zones,” consists of establishing off-campus areas where bullied teens can find solace and get help from the threat of their aggressors after school.
Shortly after the presentation concluded, it became clear that the audience could have used a “safe zone” themselves.
“I’m against bullying, but I’m getting damn tired of it being used as a mantra for everything, and the ills of the world,” remarked Mayor Cameron Hamilton. “All most people have to do is grow a pair, and stick up for them damn selves.”
“Well it’s hard to stand up and ‘grow a pair’ when you are maybe a ten-year-old little girl,” replied Councilwoman Virginia Gurrola.
“Then maybe the other 10 year olds that think they want to stop bullying will stand up for her, instead of a safe zone and a placard and a bunch of training that goes on,” Hamilton said in response.
Hamilton was the only councilmember to vote against the item. It is up for discussion again on next week’s agenda.
Read the full story and reactions of the public at ABC 30.