MEMPHIS, Tennessee — With a recent shooting said to be the result of bullying this week in Frayser, plus a school shooting resulting in a teen with a first-degree attempted murder charge, it’s easy to realize Memphis has a problem with violence among youth.
“What’s the reason that you had a child that felt like they needed to bring a gun to school and shoot another child?” questioned State Rep. Antonio Parkinson.
Parkinson is talking about the shooting at the end of last month at Cummings K-8 Optional School.
He knows there’s likely another side to the story, because he’s once been the teen that was fed up with bullying.
“The child that is the perpetrator, the child that actually has the gun or that has shot another child, they become, they get labeled rather, the bad child in a lot of cases,” said Parkinson.
Parkinson said he attempted to take matters into his own hands after he was bullied by four classmates at the age of 14.
To this day he’s grateful another student stepped in to tell the principal.
“Thank God that he did tell, because that not only saved the lives of probably four children, right, whose lives would have changed forever because I had intentions of shooting them as soon as this fight started.”
Parkinson said going to teachers and adults didn’t help solve the problem between him and the group who wanted to fight him.
“In the office, I see all of the bullies and their parents right, and all of them are in there crying,” he said. “I mean tears because now they’re seeing what was about to happen to them. You realize how much of a coward they truly are, you know, and they have to run in packs in order to do the things that they’re doing.”
Parkinson shared this situation was a turning point for him.
What if you're a parent concerned about bullying and gun violence?
We've learned community forums are being held on that topic ever Saturday in October.
This week's will be in Frayser at the Thomas Chapel Baptist Church on New Raleigh Road from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The event is free and lunch will be provided. They ask you wear a mask.