School leaders, parents and students in one New Hampshire community are concerned after seeing some alarming results from a bullying study.
"I worry, terribly," said Bedford mom Ann Guillmette.
Her 14-year-old daughter, Hannah, knows what it feels like.
U.S. & World
"At times, it can get real serious," Hannah told NBC10 Boston on Friday.
She says what's worse is watching it happen to a friend.
"All through the winter, even the cold days, he would bike to school," Hannah said. "Because the kids on the bus were just so mean."
So Hannah isn't surprised that 22 percent of Bedford High School students reported being bullied on school property, and almost 10 percent missed at least a day of school because they felt unsafe as a result of bullying.
"We used to be lower than the state average, and now it's something that's higher than state average," explained Superintendent Chip McGee.
He released the official numbers of the "2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey" this week. He says bullying isn't the only thing on the rise. So too is rape, dating violence, self-injury and attempted suicide.
"It's hard to look it in the face when you get numbers you don't like," McGee said. "But it's our job to look it in the face and it's what we need to do now."
As it turns out, Hannah was addressing the issue long before these results.
She started the "I've got your back" anti-bullying campaign last summer.
"I have a mission statement that says, 'Be a voice for those who need one,'" she said. "By wearing the bracelet, you're telling people that you have their back."
"The younger kids are that we can implement kindness, the better off we're going to be," said Hannah's mom.
With 20,000 people across five states now wearing a blue band, Hannah is hopeful she can change the numbers while changing lives.
Her mom met with the school board this morning to come up with a plan of action.
Meanwhile, Hannah, who is an incoming freshman, tells NBC10 Boston she can't wait to hand out her blue bands at the high school in the fall.