NETTLETON, Miss. (WTVA) -- On Wednesday, Nettleton Upper Elmenentary, Middle and High School students filled the stands of a gymnasium, not for a pep rally, but a rally of another kind — an anti-bullying rally.
"As a district and as a school, we decided that we wanted to make a bold statement against bullying," said Nettleton High School Prinicipal Melissa Thomas.
Thomas says Wednesday's anti-bullying event is just one example of the school's proactive approach to prevent bullying.
"We want everyone to understand that Nettleton School District is not a district for bullying," said Thomas.
Faculty and students agree it's important to shine a light on the topic.
"There are people who are suffering out there and getting bullied, and maybe if one voice speaks up, that might just save a whole lot of students from having to go through that," said senior Juaneisha Finnie.
According to Dr. Nickeda Shelton, one of the speakers at Wednesday's rally, more than 300,000 students a year are bullied.
It's a number she hopes will begin to decrease with more programs like Nettleton's.
"My message was simply to kill the bullying. They must kill the silence and speak up," said Dr. Shelton.
School officials say although Bullying Prevention Month is coming to an end, they want the anti-bullying message to stick with students year-round.