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Addressing bullying: Columbia Youth Coalition meets with lawmakers

Lawmakers and panel members sit in front of the crowd at Hickman high School. The conversation included mental health, bullying, and prescription drug abuse. (Tommy Sladek/KRCG 13)

The Columbia Youth Coalition Tuesday hosted lawmakers for a discussion on issues affecting today's students.

A main concern Columbia Public School's Carla London, Centralia High School principal Matt Smith and Hallsville student Alexis McCall all agreed on was the impact of social media.

"The level of toxicity of things we would say to people or how we would react to somebody is a million times different if it were face to face," Smith said.

Smith said Centralia created a group comprised of students representing curricular activities like athletics, the arts, band and more. Almost serving as liaisons between the school and students who are getting picked on.

"If our peer leaders are in a situation where they can model and we can take that to the point where it's more accepting in our high schools to treat people the right way...I think that's the inertia point we have to get over."

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