MENTOR, Ohio - Sen. Sherrod Brown hosted a seminar at Mentor Memorial Junior High School Tuesday night aimed at helping schools address bullying.
The goal of the event was to teach administrators, staff, bus drivers and educators to recognize and report bullying and the harassment of students. The seminar focused on promoting healthy, safe and productive schools for students.
As many as 50 percent of students are bullied at some time during the school year and 10 percent of them are bullied on a regular basis.
If anyone knows the tragic consequences of bullying it's the family of Eric Mohat, whose bully drove him to suicide two weeks before his 17th birthday.
"The bully said to Eric 'Why don't you go home and shoot yourself?" Jan Mohat said. "'It's not like anyone would care.' And so Eric did."
That was five years ago, but Mohat still vividly remembers hearing from other students that her son's teacher knew about the bullying and did nothing but move the bully's chair.
"It made us sick," she said, "Turned our stomachs. Sleepless nights, and that's just the warm-up."
Mohat said she's a voice for Eric so that other families won't have to live that life.
"The kids that are observing the violence need a safe environment so they can stand up for the kids who cannot," she said. "They need to stand up for the silent and that won't happen until the schools, the administration and the staff create a culture where bullying is not accepted."