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Posted: 3/22/2017

Young students at Kilgore Primary School (KPS) in Kilgore, Texas, are being introduced to the foundations of being a good friend as a first step to understand bullying behavior.

The focus on friendship began on Unity Day 2016, an initiative led by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center that organizes schools across the nation to address and prevent bullying. KPS counselor Gwen Black said, however, that pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first-grade students are too young to really understand what bullying is. What began on Unity Day has now evolved into a full year of recognizing kindness and what it means to be a good friend.

“We take [bullying] very seriously, but it could be just a little guy or girl and they don’t know yet how to be a friend and they’re learning their social skills,” Black told the Kilgore News Herald. “We continue bully awareness, but focus on friendship skills. We reiterate that we are choosing to be kind and caring and respectful to our friends at KPS.”

The students also wear orange - the color of Unity Day - to school the second Friday of each month.

Save the date for Unity Day 2017, which is Wednesday, Oct. 25.

Posted: 3/21/2017

Jonathan Lipnicki, who made his film debut in 1996 as Renee Zellweger’s six-year-old son in Jerry Maguire, has opened up about his personal experience with bullying. Lipnicki says he was bullied in middle school and high school in response to his early success.

But Lipnicki, now 26 years old, recently recognized that he has made more movies as an adult than he did as a child. Writing about his experience on Instagram on March 13, Lipnicki said, “I hope that sharing this can shed a little light in a positive way.”

In a follow-up interview with TooFab, Lipnicki revealed that he battled anxiety and depression as a result of the bullying. “All I've ever wanted to do my entire life is make movies,” Lipnicki said. “To be made fun of for the thing that you love and be told you're not going to be a success is hard.”

Lipnicki continues to address his anxiety with treatment and also plays basketball every day. He offered advice to others going through a similar experience: “You have to turn it into something. Whether it's arts, sports, or helping others. I think a lot of kids out there don't have a direction to go with that pain and they go inside of themselves and they suffer. It's horrible.”

Lipnicki starred in the 2016 film Loserville, the cast of which partnered with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and spoke out in support of National Bullying Prevention Month. Lipnicki is also served as a celebrity judge for NBPC’s Students with Solutions contest.

Posted: 3/2/2017

Congratulations to Eloise, who was recognized as a distinguished finalist in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards for her community service work. Eloise first connected with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center following her own experience with bullying. She interned with PACER in the summer of 2016, where she created “Ask Jamie,” an advice column that offers advice and support to teens about bullying. She continues to respond to the hundreds of students that write in with questions about bullying. Special thanks to Eloise for all of her continued work on this important issue!

Posted: 2/27/2017

PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center is supporting National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2017, which takes place Sunday, February 26 through Saturday, March 4.

Spearheaded by the National Eating Disorders Association, the goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness (#NEDAwareness) Week is to shine the spotlight on eating disorders and put life-saving resources into the hands of those in need. This year’s theme is “It’s Time to Talk About It.”

NEDA is encouraging everyone to get screened for an eating disorder. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder and these illnesses often hide in plain sight. But recovery is possible and early intervention greatly improves the chances of success.

A three-minute screening, as well as additional resources, are available at www.nedawareness.org.

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