NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. -- A mom and dad from North Tonawanda formed a Facebook group after a group of teenage boys attacked their son.
Members of that online group met Wednesday night in person to come up with ways to stop bullying and make their community safer. Around fifty parents and community leaders were there. The goal is to get the entire community involved in not only ending, but preventing bad behavior by teens in and out of school.
Victoria and William Crago started the NT Coalition for Safe Streets and Schools after their son was attacked. Most of the discussion was about the behavior of middle school students. Police have stepped up patrols near the middle school. Administrators said there are plans to get off-duty police officers into the middle school in the fall. They also said 25-percent of the disciplinary measures taken at that school this year were for just nine students.
The Cragos say the discussion makes them hopeful.
"I just keep thinking about the parents who have lost children due to bullying. I spoke to a grieving mother just this week who lost her child to suicide and, I, when I get tired and I don't want to carry on and I get overwhelmed, I think about her. And I'm going to keep going until we don't lose any more kids," says Victoria Crago.
They're also looking at peer programs and programs for parents to learn about internet safety and drug use. There were also representatives from faith groups and the police department in attendance Wednesday.