Bullying is not limited to any age or demographic. Even young kids in elementary school -- a time you would think is carefree and stress free -- are experiencing it.
"It makes me feel really sad," says Meghan Hersey, 9.
"I was being left out," says Steven Ward, also 9.
Bullying causes almost everyone to feel this way at some point in their life. John Thomas School of Discovery is working to change that.
"We're trying to teach kids empathy and get them to understand that words are hurtful and it may be unintentional, but they are hurtful," says guidance counselor Carrie Boone.
"Last year, I had a couple friends and one of them, we used to be good friends and one day we got into a little fight and she started being a little bit mean to me," recalls Hersey.
"He used to call me names and if I asked if I could play with him he always said no," says Ward. "He bullied me, and it hurt my feelings a lot."
Meghan and Steven are unfortunately just another statistic. The National Education Association reports that American schools harbor approximately 2 million bullies and almost 3 million of their victims -- and that number is growing.
"They want to be accepted," says Boone. "They want to be friends with other kids, and the term 'popular' is learned so early."
Boone says because they are so young, they don't know how to handle bullying.
"They don't have the communication tools or skills to communicate they're maybe upset for frustrated."
That's part of her job -- to teach them those skills.
"Just being a role model, and teaching kids to be leaders and when they see unkind actions, to step up and say, 'How would you feel if that were you?'"
"If they're your friends and you're not respectful to them, they might not want to be your friend anymore," says Ward. "You can be nice and kill them with kindness."
Students from each classroom are recognized in different ways for setting a good example. Boone enforces one main rule: "It's okay not to be friends with everyone; however you still have to be kind."
Visit http://www.stopbullying.gov for more information on bullying.