Miss Kansas: Teen Sexual Harassment, Bullying A Problem

Miss Kansas Theresa Vail (Courtesy: Miss Kansas Organization Facebook)
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WELLINGTON, Kan. -- (KAKE) It's not the typical crowd she addresses, but Theresa Vail said teenage boys need a wake-up call.

Vail, the reigning Miss Kansas, spoke to high school students at a leadership summit at Wellington High School Tuesday.

She and motivational speaker Bill Cordes lectured students in separate sessions. They tackled hot topics like bullying and sexual harassment.

Vail said she had been harassed during her time serving in the military, and even at recent events, like a gun show she attended in Las Vegas.

"We do not want to hear 'damn.' We do not want to hear, 'Hey baby. how you doing?" Vail said to a crowd of 500 high school boys. "It's gross. Don't do it. Don't say it. Your mothers would be disappointed. Your fathers would be disappointed."

Courtney Luna is one of the students who helped organize the event, which included six high schools from Sumner County. Boys and girls attended different workshops.

"I hope that genders will stop the stereotypes and be more comfortable with themselves," said Luna, a junior from Wellington. "Cause when you're more comfortable with yourself, then it will affect others around you."

Junior Trey Coulter said bullying has deeply affected students at WHS.

The football program had a problem with bullying earlier in the year, resulting in one student being kicked off the team.

He hopes Cordes' and Vail's messages hit home with everyone.

"We know it won't go away. Bullying isn't going anywhere, but we want to make it as little as possible," Coulter said. "I, myself, like to try to help people as much as I can. And I never really had success to helping with girls who had issues, so maybe talking to Theresa will make me do better, try to help my friends."