Originally aired on KLAS-TV – February 26, 2020
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than one out of every five students report being bullied. 8 News NOW Reporter Sally Jaramillo shares the story of a teen who overcame bullying and his recent accomplishments.
Coye Shelton was bullied as a child at school. It got so bad, he ended up taking online classes. Now, he wants to share his story with other students struggling with fear and how they can stand up.
“Bullying to me is…it’s something that can really harm someone’s life,” said Coye Michael Shelton, 18, Nevada Virtual Academy.
Shelton opens up about his worst days when he was bullied.
“I was a shorter kid. I had a lot of extra meat on me. I didn’t really grow out of that yet, so I was usually picked on because of the way I looked, the way I talked,” added Shelton.
He vividly remembers the day when he was attacked by an older kid simply because that kid was annoyed by him.
“There was also another time when we were outside, there was about 8 of us playing and they had wrapped their hands around my neck and started choking me,” added Shelton.
Looking back now, he explains those feelings he couldn’t quite comprehend back then.
“I’m sure I had a time when I was angry I was sad you know it kinda made me feel left out. I didn’t feel like I had the most friends,” added Shelton.
Shelton’s parents ended up enrolling him in Nevada Virtual Academy. To help regain his confidence he also joined the Nevada Wing Civil Air Patrol.
“It’s taught me to be who I am today and it’s leading me into my career in the future,” said Shelton.
He’s been in the program for 5 years now. Starting as a cadet, now he’s a first lieutenant and training corps commander.
“My message to kids who are being bullied is to look for your support group, you definitely have a lot more friends than you realize,” added Shelton.
Shelton hopes his story promotes change.
“I do think bullying needs to be stopped, so there’s no reason to be attacking other people no reason to be hurting them mentally or physically,” added Shelton.
Shelton will graduate Nevada Virtual Academy in May and will also receive his associate of arts through Western Nevada College.
He will attend Embry Riddle Aero-Nautical University in August. His end goal is to work for NASA or SpaceX.
To learn more about Nevada Virtual Academy, visit https://nvva.k12.com/