SHERMAN, TX-StopBullying.gov shows 17% of students nationwide are bullied. But, a local boxer is stepping up to help fight the trend.
Alex Lopez has been teaching boxing to area kids for several years so they will learn how to fight, but also to stand up for themselves when facing a bully. One of his students tells us how the class has made a difference.
Eleven year old, Jonathan Harden has been taking boxing class at Fight Time Fitness in Sherman since February because he's been bullied at school many times.
"So that people at school wont be a jerk to me whenever I come around and stuff," he said.
His mother, Jennifer Harden, said kids pick on Jonathan because he's one of the shortest in 5th grade.
"He's always had people picking on him, calling him names, shrimp, shorty, things like that. I'm thinking this will actually help his self confidence," she said.
"A lot of times the kids that come into the class have low self-esteem."
Boxing instructor, Alex Lopez, have been teaching area kids for three years to defend themselves improving their boxing technique and sparring. He said confidence is key when standing up to a bully.
"What we try to teach them here is that we want them to just build their self confidence. And the way I can do that is by teaching them how to be confident in themselves if you're in good shape and also promote that you can feel good with your well being," he said.
But he said fighting is still not the answer.
"What I try to teach kids here is that you can only do so much with your fists but you want to try and use as much as you can with your brain and communication skills," Lopez said.
Jonathan said he has learned a lot in the class.
"How to punch, kick, move when people are trying to punch you in the face," he said.
Harden said she has seen a difference in her son's behavior.
"It's a slow process, but you know, he can walk in and hold his head up high and not actually feel like 'aww, everyone's picking on me' and things of that nature," she said.
Lopez added that keeping kids busy after school and during the summer can help keep them out of trouble.
Fight Time Fitness offers boxing class Tuesdays and Thursdays for kids of any age.