02/14/2013 10:48 am ET

Being Bullied At School... But Sticking It Out (VIDEO)

For years, John McDonogh High School has been hampered by low academic performance and stigmatized by a culture of violence. The challenge of bringing it back from the brink of failure is up to its new principal, Dr. Marvin Thompson, and a new staff of teachers. On "Blackboard Wars," Dr. Thompson sits down with 16-year-old Coco, who says she's being bullied by classmates, to convince her not to drop out of school.

Other students are telling Coco "that I'm ugly and stuff," she tells Dr. Thompson in this clip. "I really don't want to go to this school."

Dr. Thompson tells her it's not worth dropping out. "People are talking about me? I feel good. That means I am important enough to get their attention," he tells her. "How you respond to that attention -- that's on you. That's where you have control.... You can't ever give up your power to people."

Tune in to the series premiere of "Blackboard Wars" on OWN, Saturday, February 16, at 9 p.m. ET.

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