SEVERE WX : Special Weather Statement View Alerts

11-year-old girl picks up boxing to deal with bullies

A 6th grader in Thomaston loves reading, science and cheerleading.However, it's boxing that's helping 11-year-...

Posted: May 1, 2018 9:05 AM
Updated: May 1, 2018 9:05 AM

A 6th grader in Thomaston loves reading, science and cheerleading.

However, it's boxing that's helping 11-year-old Jalysa Smith deal with years of bullying.

At Blue Boy Boxing in Thomaston, boxers of all ages and skill levels can be found.

Among the punching bags, and mostly boys, is Jalysa.

"It's really nice because all the other kids know what to do and they're happy coming here and everyone looks happy when they're punching the bag," she said.

She didn't go there all on her own.

Earlier this year, her mother posted on Facebook after she claimed the district did nothing to stop the bullying her daughter was experiencing at school.

"It started in elementary school with children calling her a slave or making fun of her hair or being physical," said Melissa Hamel, Jalysa's mother. "It's devastating her. The amount of anxiety she has in the morning to go to school is catastrophic. No 11-year-old should feel this way. She comes home from school every day crying."

Kareem Blue, owner of Blue Boy Boxing, saw Hamel's post and wanted to help.

"When I was younger I had issues with bullying and boxing helped me," Blue said. "So I reached out to her and told her to come on down, check the club out, see if it's for her. I can help build some confidence."

"I was kind of hesitant almost. I was like, should I or should I not? And then I heard about Coach Blue and he [said] it and what he wanted to do for me and what he does here," Jalysa said.

Jalysa trains for one hour three days a week. She said that's all it takes for her confidence to go up and anxiety to go down.

"We started with one on one's and he just taught me the basic jab cross and we kept working on hooks," she explained. "And then I came into the actual class with the other kids and he worked with everybody. He told us what to do and told us how to do it."

"When she first came in she was hiding behind her mom," Blue said. "She didn't even want to look me in the eye or speak to me, but now she sees me, she comes in and does her own thing."

Hamel said she sees a big difference in Jalysa after every class. However, she still wants change from school.

"When she's here, she's happy, she's fun," Hamel said. "And when we get home tonight she'll be an 11-year-old. She'll be herself and she'll be goofy and silly, but 7:00 tomorrow morning, that anxiety will hit again and it'll be a struggle to get her to school and I have to send her to school. I just want answers. My daughter shouldn't have to suffer."

According to stopbullying.gov, 28 percent of students in Grades 6 through 12 experience bullying.

Not every student is fortunate enough to have a safe place like Jalysa does with Blue Boy Boxing.

She has one simple message for everyone.

"I would say just speak up and don't be afraid to speak up," Jalysa said.

Channel 3 reached out to Thomaston Public Schools for a comment.

"The Board of Education promotes a secure and happy school climate, conducive to teaching and learning that is free from threat, harassment and any type of bullying behavior," it said in a statement. "The district says that they define bullying as the repeated use by one or more students of a written, oral or electronic communication or a physical act or gesture by one or more students repeatedly directed at another student attending school in the same school district. Thomaston Public Schools applauds students who participate in outside activities that support their interests."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 480845

Reported Deaths: 6511
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin997381576
Ramsey42744796
Dakota35818383
Anoka33010383
Washington21862253
Stearns18683200
St. Louis14655262
Scott13119107
Wright12414114
Olmsted1170088
Sherburne866373
Carver756340
Clay683686
Rice664291
Blue Earth587235
Kandiyohi576674
Crow Wing514780
Chisago493644
Otter Tail479470
Benton441390
Winona414248
Mower400231
Douglas390768
Nobles385347
Goodhue383368
Polk341062
McLeod336349
Beltrami335350
Morrison321846
Lyon311543
Itasca308545
Becker307841
Isanti303453
Carlton298544
Steele297611
Pine280616
Freeborn276823
Nicollet252341
Todd244030
Brown240737
Le Sueur230520
Mille Lacs225747
Cass218124
Waseca206917
Meeker205534
Martin186728
Wabasha18543
Roseau178317
Hubbard159740
Houston156414
Dodge15124
Renville147340
Redwood146327
Fillmore13648
Chippewa135735
Cottonwood133520
Wadena128120
Pennington127016
Faribault121716
Aitkin117833
Sibley116410
Rock115513
Watonwan11518
Kanabec106719
Pipestone100724
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9418
Jackson92510
Swift87218
Pope7885
Marshall76815
Stevens7378
Lake72617
Clearwater71514
Lac qui Parle68216
Wilkin66510
Koochiching61711
Big Stone5123
Lincoln5032
Grant4888
Norman4648
Mahnomen4377
Unassigned43668
Kittson40721
Red Lake3544
Traverse3015
Lake of the Woods2131
Cook1190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 359747

Reported Deaths: 5357
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57625545
Linn20536311
Scott18203205
Black Hawk16187286
Woodbury14875211
Johnson1374173
Dubuque13480194
Dallas1123790
Pottawattamie10716140
Story1012945
Warren550271
Clinton540783
Cerro Gordo531080
Webster515686
Marshall493772
Sioux491568
Buena Vista469736
Des Moines455059
Muscatine446789
Wapello4261107
Jasper406865
Plymouth393377
Lee373551
Marion356969
Jones293854
Henry292535
Carroll284048
Bremer276554
Crawford272035
Boone258230
Washington253145
Benton250454
Mahaska223145
Jackson220438
Dickinson216338
Tama211564
Kossuth206954
Clay192925
Hamilton191641
Delaware188539
Winneshiek186926
Fayette184033
Buchanan183630
Page181619
Hardin179638
Wright179131
Harrison178969
Cedar175522
Clayton168153
Butler165731
Floyd162439
Mills162420
Cherokee153535
Madison153418
Poweshiek153429
Hancock146529
Lyon145441
Iowa143823
Allamakee143644
Appanoose138447
Grundy138230
Jefferson137532
Winnebago137530
Calhoun133010
Cass132448
Mitchell130040
Louisa127941
Union125931
Chickasaw124613
Sac123718
Emmet120740
Shelby119933
Franklin118319
Humboldt116725
Guthrie116028
Montgomery104036
Palo Alto103921
Howard102421
Clarke99220
Keokuk97529
Unassigned9300
Monroe92628
Adair91626
Ida90732
Pocahontas85419
Davis82223
Monona81525
Greene76610
Lucas73121
Osceola70014
Worth6907
Taylor66312
Fremont5869
Decatur5729
Van Buren55818
Ringgold51416
Wayne48621
Audubon4839
Adams3244
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Clear
26° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 19°
Mason City
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 19°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 18°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 16°
Charles City
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 19°
Minor snow chances into the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Aaron's Thursday Evening Forecast

Image

Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be reviewed tomorrow

Image

Minnesota announces new vaccine timeline

Image

Assisted Living allowing visitors

Image

Iowa Vaccine rollout timeline

Image

Catalytic Converter Thefts Continue

Image

Community Kitchen Serves More Meals During The Pandemic

Image

MercyOne North Iowa Wait List For Vaccine

Image

LTC Facilities Advocate For Vaccinations

Image

02-25-2021 for Bri

Community Events