Fort Oglethorpe teens looking to change a Georgia law

Reported by: Erik Avanier
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Updated: 3/25/2014 7:10 pm
FORT OGLETHORPE, Georgia(WDEF) - Three teenagers who attend Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School are using a social science research project to persuade lawmaker into changing the Georgia laws on bullying.

Beth Keith, Meghan Hamilton and Allyson Devlin are high school seniors who recently presented their research on bullying at the University of Georgia.

"Bullying happens a whole lot more than I thought," said Keith.

"I learned how different people respond to different comments made about them," said Devlin.

"There was a lot of girls who especially have been bullies and have been bullied. Speaking from personal experience, girls are mean," said Hamilton

The three spent countless hours talking to kids who are bullied as well as the kids who are considered bullies. They also researched statistics on bullying through the state of Georgia.

"I feel bad for the person and I want to help them and I feel bad for the bully because obviously something is going on in their lives to make them want to bully somebody else," Devlin said.

The three students are now using their research to persuade lawmakers into making some changes to laws on bullying. They're targeting the three strike rule  in which discipline action is taken after an alleged bully is caught a third time.

"That's a lot of chances before something is actually done. And a lot of damage can be done between the first chance and that third chance," Hamilton said.

They're also looking to change the vagueness of online bullying which is reportedly more common among girls.

Changing laws is not that easy but the three teenagers say they're determined to get law makers to listen.

"I believe that we can do it with the correct steps and with the correct guidance so we can make it happen," Keith said.

"I think it's tough but I think if we keep working at it and I think if we make the right connections, I think we can eventually change it," Devlin said.
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