Father Plans To Walk From Kansas City To St. Louis To Fight Bullying

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ST. CHARLES, MO (KPLR)-- A St. Charles father will walk to fight bullying and mental illness.  His son returned from Los Angeles to film every step of the way.
Lights, camera, action.

Ferguson Middle School students helped kick off the taping of "Walking Man" Thursday morning.  The documentary will follow Mark Norwine, the Bullying Prevention Director of Communities Healing Adolescent Depression and Suicide - CHADS.

"That's why we're taking the Katy Trail," he explained.  "We're going to stop at a lot of small towns.  These towns don't have the resources that we have in St. Louis."

Friday, he will start walking from Kansas City back to St. Louis, raising awareness of bullying and mental illness.

"I think my first bipolar experience was when I was about 18," he pointed out.  "And, I was always diagnosed with depression and put on medication.  But, it was never the right medication."

His son, Eric, is producing the piece.

"It's close to my heart," he said.  "Because, I was diagnosed when I was 16.  About once every three years, he would go into this deep bout about six months and then come out of it.  We thought that manic was normal for him."

First, Eric wants to help his father break such myths starting with kids.

"We could have a first impression," said student Wendy Reyes.  "But now, we have a different impression of them now that we have this.  We are communicating more."

"Every child deserves a caring adult in their life," said Ferguson-Florissant Schools Superintendent Art McCoy.  "But also a peer that will support them and encourage them through their situation."

Then, he wants break dangerous myths about bullies.

"And, we just think it's kids being kids -- as opposed to saying, 'No.  This isn't how you treat other people, whether you are in 7th grade or 45,`" Eric said.  "Treat each other with kindness.  Love each other, and that's what he's trying to do and kind of trying to spread that message."

You can follow the walk online.
•         Walking Man Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/events/377660409014669/
•         CHADS website: http://www.chadscoalition.org
•         CHADS Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/177919432359224/
•         Kids Walking for Kids Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/events/177919432359224/

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