Clayton County, GA
A Clayton County teenager who suffered a concussion in a bullying incident at his school is being recognized for his courage.
Dr. Claudio Cerullo, President of teachantibullying.com, based out of Philadelphia, tells WSB he hears bullying stories everyday but Israel's story really touched him.
Israel Price, who had reported being bullied before, suffered a concussion on September 19th, after he was cornered in a bathroom at Riverdale Middle School, where he struck his head on a brick wall.
The 13-year-old is an aspiring singer, and the injury has affected his speech and motor skills. Cerullo says he was also devastated to learn that Israel's golden voice was impacted, all because of bullying.
"What really touched me was his courage. You know, a young boy that with the support of his mother, just kept trying to fight back," said Cerullo.
Cerullo contacted Israel's mother Charleia Price, and not only honored him a medal for his bravery and fight against bullying, but also sent him some scholarship money, and signed sports memorablia from Deshawn Jackson.
Charleia says when her son found out about the award he lit up like a Christmas tree.
"Both Israel and I feel like we're big advocates, like we've kind of become the poster child against bullying," said Price.
She says you never send your child to school and think he will be the target of bullying.
"You know, on his side he wants other kids to know that it's okay to tell. If it got to this point, you know you can still be okay. You can still be your normal self, you just have to work for it," said Price.
Israel, who continues to improve, says he's doing well but he agrees if you're being bullied, don't be afraid to speak up.
"I feel proud of myself because I help people to tell somebody the next time they get bullied," said Israel.
Cerullo says since 2011, the organization has touched more than 11,5000 children who've been bullied and more than 13,000 parents and educators.
"We are hoping to make a dent. Will it ever go away, probably not. You know, unfortunately, we live among a culture of just sometimes people are just mean. But we're hopeful here, at least from our perspective, is that we want to help raise the awareness. But at the same time, we want to support and recognize those many victims that ultimately become heroes in our book, like Israel," Cerullo.