A Sioux Falls mom and her 11-year-old son are taking a strong stand against bullying, something that affects more than 160,000 students every day.
The family hosted an anti-bullying rally at the Sioux Falls Convention Center encouraging everyone to take a stand against bullying with them.
Trish and Zachary Ringold started the Facebook Group, "Say No! to Bullying" late last year as an outlet for students and parents struggling with the problem.
"The ‘Just Say No! to Bullying' I think has been a tremendous outlet for him and we encourage anyone who wants to speak up to come and see us," said Trish Ringold.
As a long time victim of bullying, Zach and his mother know how difficult the struggle can be.
"He would come home and tell me that his shoe laces had been tied together on the bus," said Trish Ringold.
Zachary has dealt with bullying since the first grade, showing bullying can happen at any age. But recently, the bullies have turned to violence.
"A lot of parents will say, o it's just kids being kids but when you're punched on the school bus because someone doesn't like your stutter, that's not kids being kids," said Trish Ringold.
It's why Zach and his mom decided to take action.
"I don't want no body else to feel bad about getting bullied," said Zach.
Zach's story inspired parents and students at the rally, encouraging them to take bullying seriously by taking a stand and trying to stop it at any age.
"Our daughter just started kindergarten this year, so its really important for us to teach her how to be nice and also how to stand up to bullying when she sees it happening on the playground," said Janelle Fitzler, one mom at Saturday's Say No! to Bullying rally.
A school resource officer encouraged students and parents to speak out if they see any kind of bullying.
"Not to just stand by and watch it but to actually step in and maybe be friends with the kids who are being picked on and help them out," said Fitzler.
"Whenever I see somebody getting bullied or like getting hurt, I just go there and say like stop, stop this because like that can really hurt somebody's feelings," said Zach.
The Ringold's hope bringing the community together at anti-bullying rallies will help future generations.
"We're just getting started, this is the beginning of it, so hopefully we're going to be around a long time," said Trish Ringold.
"This could really help people because, this could teach people to stand up to bullying and to just stop it," said Zach.
Zach and his mom are in the process of setting up Say No! to Bullying rallies at different schools and communities across South Dakota. They want all parents or students who are dealing with bullying to reach out and share their stories on their Facebook page.
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