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Bullying message hits close to home for many families

Published On: Oct 02 2012 09:19:36 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 02 2012 10:28:28 PM CDT
BANGOR, Wis. -

Tami Brownell is a nurse, first responder and a volunteer volleyball coach. But first and foremost, she's a mother.

"Jennifer's story just hit home," said Brownell, who lives in Bangor.

Click here to listen to News 8's Jennifer Livingston deliver an editorial on bullying.

Brownell is a mother to three children that have all been picked on at school for being over weight (Brandon, 12, Madison, 11, and Nicholas, 9).

"It makes me feel sad, angry and depressed," said Madison.

Brownell worries what long-term impact the bullying will have on all three.

"It's not acceptable. I think kids are learning it at home. I think they are learning it from their peers at school and until you walk in someone's shoes, I don't think you should pass judgement on them," said Brownell.

It's especially personal for the Bangor mother.

"I always felt like people were judging me....and they were," she said.

Brownell grew up in a poor family and has dealt with her own weight issues.

"I wish people would see the inside qualities of people instead of judging them from the outside," she said.

It's a lesson she is trying to teach her children, even if they aren't always being treated with the same respect.

"It's heart wrenching because they're all great kids and a number on the scale should never ever define them."

Brownell has already sat down with her children to watch Jennifer Livingston's video. She hopes other parents out there do the same.