Lorel Malone, the 12 year old boy who died after a fight at Magnolia Middle School, has been the target of bullying, says his grandmother. Police and school officials didn't say much about the details surrounding the seventh grader’s death. When asked if bullying was a factor, Moss Point Superintendent, Dr. Maggie L. Griffin, says not that school officials were aware of, but pointed out that the investigation into the death is ongoing.
While there is no official word on whether bullying was a factor in this case, back in December, a lesbian student filed a lawsuit against Moss Point schools, alleging she had been the target of bullying. Schools have been implementing numerous programs to help stop bullying. One of the most popular ones is ‘Rachel's Challenge’, a program designed to resolve conflict and bullying by using positive incentives. Carolyn Anderson of the Gulf Coast Substance Abuse Task Force says, "There's a lot of activity going on every day, every week. Long Beach has started a club, which is about positive behavior and Pass Christian has started it. It's an absolutely wonderful program that reinforces that." The program has made the rounds recently in the Long Beach and Pass Christian school systems and is gaining popularity.