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WESTON (WAOW) -
Wednesday marks Wisconsin's annual Bullying Prevention Awareness Day. That's why one local school is taking action, through reading.
D.C. Everest Middle School students each received a new book, to teach them about bullying. One student says he'll definitely read it, because it's a story he's lived.
7th grader Alex Radtke says he's been a victim of bullying.
"Getting spit balled, slapped, quite a few things," said Alex.
Alex attends D.C. Everest Middle School in Weston.
"I'm just different from other people," he said.
Alex says the bullying kept getting worse, until he finally spoke up, telling his parents and the principal.
"Everybody that I know can help," he said.
Now, Radtke says he's no bullied anymore. But the issue still exists for many others, and school leaders are trying to tackle it. Each student has received a new book called Wonder, a science fiction novel designed to illustrate the problems with bullying.
"I don't think school climate here is terrible, but I think it could be better," said D.C. Everest Middle School librarian Beth Martin.
The book is paid for by grant money. School officials say they hope it will do something to put a stop to bullying.
"It makes me sad when kids can tell stories about their own experiences where they haven't been treated kindly and I hope we can change that," said Martin.
She's not the only one hoping for change. For Alex, taking this book home means everything.
"Some people are a lot different than others, but you don't have the right to make fun of them," said Alex.
School officials say if students are bullied, they need to know. Otherwise they can't help. Alex agrees.
"Tell somebody very quickly before it gets worse and worse," said Alex.
As Alex gets ready to dive into his new book, school leaders hope others will too. So bullying can become a thing of the past.
School officials say they plan to meet with the middle school students to discuss their thoughts on the book, in the upcoming months. They also hope to incorporate the book in the curriculum for the year.
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