October is National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month and there have been two recent news stories that have reminded me that all of us can make a difference just by standing up in what we believe in and being proud of who we are as individuals. In Michigan, a 16-year-old girl was named to a high school homecoming court as part of an apparent prank, but this did not stop her. She took a stand against her bullies and the community and nation rallied behind her. On September 28, 2012, the young 16-year-old, Whitney Kropp, was crowned Homecoming Queen.
On October 2, 2012, Jennifer Livingston, made national news when she took a stand on the WKBT News 8 evening broadcast in Wisconsin and addressed the local lawyer who sent her an email attacking her weight.
There are so many ways we can make a difference. From speaking up in what you believe in, to giving a co-worker a helping hand or spending some quality time with your friends and family, everyone has the power to be making a difference.
The PACER National Bullying Prevention Center (www.pacer.org/bullying) provides a number of opportuniteis to help stop bullying in your community. Below are three steps the organization shares that can help you develop a plan of action to address a bullying situation that is happening to you or someone else.
Step One: Think about the bullying you have experienced, seen or even done yourself.
Step Two: Then consider how that situation could be different.
Step Three: Next, think about the steps needed to make those changes happen.
Visit www.pacer.org/bullying/pdf/StudentActionPlan.pdf to read the entire ‘Action Plan Against Bullying!’ Bullying can be stopped, but only if we take action and speak up!