Anti-bullying group gathers for candlelight vigil (w/video)

Jeannie Decker, coordinator of Parents Against Bullying in VISD, talks about how the movement has changed her day-to-day life and her granddaughter Brianna Hernandez shares her experience with bullying.

Brianna Hernandez ran through the downtown plaza holding a candle with a withering flame as it moved through the air.

On her face, a healing patch of skin covered a vanishing injury she suffered after being pushed down by another classmate on the playground.

"I felt kind of sad because I really like school, but when he pushed me, I felt really sad," Brianna, 9, said. "I don't like being bullied."

The Victoria school district elementary school student was joined by 20 other supporters at DeLeon Plaza in downtown Victoria for a candlelight vigil for victims of bullying.

The event was co-coordinated by Brianna's grandmother, Jeannie Decker.

"I don't want people to think this is just about Brianna; this is about all the children," Decker said. "We're about being a support system."

Since a photo of her granddaughter's wounded face appeared on Facebook, Decker and several other Victoria parents have come together to spread awareness, forming Parents Against Bullying in VISD. The incident involving the girl was not officially classified by the district as bullying.

Two weeks ago, the group gathered in front of the VISD administration building to protest the way the district enforces bullying and called for harsher consequences for bullies.

Debra Hernandez, 38, of Port Lavaca, coordinates Anti-Bullying in Port Lavaca, which also has a Facebook page and has been active for the past year and a half.

Hernandez was also at the event Wednesday evening.

At Calhoun County ISD, Hernandez said the schools needs to offer counseling and anti-bullying programs for students. However, the district also does offer both.

"There should be consequences," Hernandez said. "Parents should be trying to be in more control of what their kids are doing at school."