Nick Longo has seen both sides of bullying. As a high school athlete in Camillus, Longo was bullied and then he went on to bully others. In 2009 Longo decided he could turn things around and change the culture of bullying.
"There is a common culture in sports teams where hazing does go on and that's been one of the changes I've made in my own life was you've got to step back from that and say guys, we shouldn't be doing these things," said Longo
Longo is a co-founder of the Camillus anti-bullying group "Stop the Hate, Spread the Hope." On Tuesday night Longo and other teens held a fundraiser at Cam's Pizzeria in Camillus and sold t-shirts and bracelets. They have already extended their program to the Solvay school district and hope to be able to connect with more schools in the next few years.
Bryce Powell joined the group after moving to Camillus from Colorado. Powell says some teens don't see mean jokes, put-downs or pranks as a form of bullying
"I've been to Colorado and I've seen things where, you don't have bullying, they just see it as messing around with someone,"said Powell.
Stop the Hate, Spread the Hope is growing quickly and Sarah Kitts was bullied when she was younger and now wants to share her story - and get people to realize how much harm bullying can do
"I think sometimes it takes a lesson from somebody you know being hurt by something like that," said Kitts.
Kitts said she was bullied when she was younger and wants to bring hope and understanding to teens who are subjected to bullying every day.
Pop stars Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift regularly speak out against bullying and the Camillus teens say more and more of their classmates are now standing up to bullying when they see it.