If you have ever been a child in school, chances are you experienced bullying at some point in your life. Most of us know what it is like to be taunted, intimidated, or have rumors spread about us. Years ago, it was almost seen as a rite of passage. “Kids will be kids” was a phrase often used to describe some of the abusive behaviors that happened between peers. Maybe you needed to avoid the lunch room, certain bathrooms, or riding the bus — but it was mostly limited to one-on-one encounters. Once you got home, you felt like you were safe — at least until the next day at school.
But things are different today. With the advent of the computer, internet, and cell phones,cyberbullying is a new form of bullying our children have to contend with. Rumors can spread like wildfire through email, text messages, or social networking sites. Sometimes you won’t even know who your bully is as they can hide behind fake screen names or anonymous posts. This form of bullying can reach children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The BULLY Project is a social action campaign inspired by the award-winning film BULLY. Their mission is to stop bullying in America with the 10 Million Kids initiative, a campaign that facilitates screenings of the film and educational reform for students and educators. So far, they have reached 3.6 million kids in over 3,000 cities, with more to come.
Children are little mirrors, and when we show them fear and hate, they will reflect those emotions. Like this brave girl who reminds us to be the change we wish to see, let’s do better! Let’s teach our kids love and empathy. Let’s teach them to have integrity and stand up for one another. Let’s teach them that doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but that it only takes one act of kindness to change someone’s life forever!
If you or someone you know has ever been bullied, please SHARE this message with everyone you know.