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Submit a video, story, poem, artwork, or audio clip expressing how you feel about bullying, how you think it affects students and schools, what you have done to prevent bullying, or what others can do to prevent bullying.

Bullying411@PACER.org

You’re Not Alone

Posted: 4/1/2014

Ever since I was young, I have traveled the world with my family. Because of this, I have been exposed to cultures of all kinds and have gained a great respect for diversity. I suppose I took for granted the people around me that accepted me for who I was.

Shortly after returning to America, I received a scholarship to a rather prestigious school. It was also infamous for its outrageous pricing, which successfully weeded out many of the "lower class" students. For the first school year that I attended, I was in paradise. As an aspiring author, I found my niche spending hours in the vast school library, exploring every page of each book I could get my hands on. The next year, however, trouble began to brew.

When the parents heard that I had gotten into the school by way of scholarship due to merit, many were infuriated. This derogatory attitude toward me didn't not stop with the parents. It spread like a disease into the minds of my peers. Suddenly, I was an outcast. A wretched creature like a weed among roses. Yet, being only on 6th grade, I didn't know what I was doing wrong. Passing by in the halls, people would call out "Rat." In the locker rooms, angry tongues would lash out at me. "Hood."

"Dirt"

"Low-brow"

"Trash"

Somehow, I made it through the first semester, managing to keep my chin up. Little did I know that disaster was coming. Like a hurricane, it would sweep up my entire world and dash it against the ground in a whirlwind of tears, rubble, and eventually blood. When spring rolled around that year, I signed up for the school play. A few weeks before the production, some of the girls in my class came to me. "If you cut your hair, you can be one of us. You have to change to be one of us." Excitedly, I pledged to do whatever they wished for acceptance. I would do whatever they asked because I craved the attention that only my peers could give. I needed approval.

"Cut your hair"

So I did. Chop, chop, chop... It all fell away.

I gave my identity to them that day. Of that, I am truly ashamed.

To make matters worse, they lied to me.

Instead of taking me under their wing like the flightless bird I had become, they shoved me from the nest.

(Really) long story (not very) short, I lost my scholarship due to my parents' divorce. So, the next school year, I was moved across the street to another school. At first I was excited, as the school had a reputation for having a vast majority of minorities. This meant that I could finally fit in. At last, I could slip into a crowd of diversity.

Only, it didn't. Those kids couldn't get past the fact that I came from the "Rich white school.” As if to put me in my place, the eighth graders decided to make an example of me. The hit me, shoved me, choked me. The injuries they inflicted, the cruel punishments they attempted could take up a novel, so I will spare all the details.

Between the chaos continue to rage on at the home-front, and my hellish life at school, things were not looking bright. An eighth grader was eventually expelled for pinning me down on the hallway linoleum, spitting in my face, and beating me senseless. After the boy's removal, things got worse. I learned the definition of sexual harassment. I was diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety symptoms. Though I still struggle with them today, I remind myself that I can take this opportunity to be a beacon of hope to others.

I tell this story not because I want pity, but because I want people to know that they are not alone in their pain. Bullying takes so many different forms, but it is all destructive and painful. People are afraid to seek help, as I was. Many even give up on life itself. I want the world to know that no one is stronger than a survivor.

There are many of us out there -- Simply waiting for the right time and place in which to spread our story.

By: Anonymous

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We are the Change

Posted: 3/28/2014

There she sits
In hollowing silence
Void of emotions
Numb

Every insult thrown at her
Every cry for help ignored
Every day ending with a prayer to die
She exists

It seemed so innocent, simply jesting
Those snide remarks you and your friends would utter
Not knowing that they hit so deep you could feel the impact

Every day was a battle
A struggle for acceptance
What had come so easily and naturally for you
Was robbing the very soul right out of her

Countless people brainwashing her into thinking she was not important
That the world would be a better place without her
That no one would notice that she was gone
But you can't see this
All you see is a girl
Overweight
Ugly
Perhaps not fitting into your socially accepted norm

She is forgettable
She is insignificant
She is a nobody

You can spend a lifetime tearing people down
Ripping them apart to make yourself feel better
To get that fleeting sense of superiority

Just as simple as it is to bully someone
It is that easy to raise them up
To remind them that their life does matter
All it takes is one word
One smile
One love

Where are the days where we were considerate
Where we were empathetic
Where we thought not only about ourselves
It's time to take it back
It's time to respect each other
It's time to stop being so petty
Let's turn our slander into praises
Our judging into loving
Our belittling into uplifting

It's time and we're capable
It's time and we're ready
It's time and we're in this together
It's time to stop the bullying
It's time to bring back the lives of our youth

By: Lisa

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The Things You Don’t Know

Posted: 3/28/2014

Isn’t it weird how just one word makes you hurt?
Isn’t it peculiar how just one word makes you feel like dirt?
Ugly, worthless, loser, these are the things they overhear
You are what they have come to fear

They hear you in the hallway and all they hear is trash
All you want to do is turn them into ash
Every morning they wake up with grief
Every day you take their happiness away like a thief

They pretend to smile, hoping it’s going to be alright
They hold themselves up with all their might
Don’t you ever wonder how they feel?
Your appalling words hurt like a toxic blade made of steel

You think you have power, yet they are stronger than you
You may never know the sadness they’ve been through,
All they ever wanted was a simple friend
Someone who would stand up for them and defend

You don’t know what they’ve attempted to do
You and your friends say it’s not true
With your mind you gave a deep wound that will never heal
Truth is, you may never know how that feels

You’ve dug so deep into their skin; their life hangs by a thread
What I want to know is when you are going to get this in your head
You’re the weak one; you’re the one to blame
For all the times they wished they had a different name

You think you’re so smart
Even though you destroyed their heart
It makes me sad to know someone can be so hurtful
The things they feel I’m sure are painful

We need to join together and fight forever
So we can make our generation feel better
On this day ask yourself
Can we change our hurtful ways for the benefit of ourselves

By: Cameron

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Use Your Words for Good

Posted: 3/20/2014

i am a 14 year old girl who is 100% against bullying. I was bullied my whole life. I never had a friend. It started in 4th grade when i was walking down the hallway and they called me a pig. They told me i looked like one too. Then in 5th grade, my mother made me wear skirts to school and everyone else wore pants. People looked at me as i walked down the hallway with disgust on their face. I would hear little laughs as i walked past them. I never knew what was happening to me until 6th grade. I didn't look like the other girls and i wasn't the skinniest either. My classmates would take votes on if they wanted me there or not. They would send me mean notes during class. At lunch i sat down at a table with them and they all got up and went to the other table behind them. When i went over to that table they all got up again and moved back to the table there were just at. I ate lunch alone that day. My classmates wouldn't even let me use the restroom at school because they told me i didn't look like a girl. I had to wait till i got home everyday just to use the bathroom. At the end of the school year, two girls wrote me note, i threw it away but they dug it out of the trashcan and read it ti me out loud, in front of everyone. The note said that i would be better off dead and nobody likes me. After they read it they asked me if i believed them when they said that nobody liked me. I didn't say anything back. They went around the whole entire school asking everybody if they were my friend. When everyone said no, they came back and said " See nobody does like you." and walked into the classroom. That day was the first day i cried at school. The end of 6th grade, i walked out of there with no self confidence what so ever. They had taken everything away from me. But even today, i am in 9th grade and i am too scared to go out to eat because i am afraid that someone will say something to me. I became afraid of the world, of society and that hasn't changed since. I want people to know how much pain you can cause someone just by a single word. I hope no one gets treated less than they deserve. Nobody deserves to be an outcast. Everyone deserves to be loved and i hope one day that happens. My dream is to make a difference in the world. To show people love and happiness. I had to survive and i was only a child.

I want to make a difference in this world. Nothing would give me more happiness. I want to show people how to use their words for good. Just smiling at someone could save a persons life. But i will do more than smile. i am going to use my words for good so that nobody has to feel the way i feel. So that nobody has to feel that type of pain. That's my dream.

By: Megan

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A Bad Dream That You Can’t Escape

Posted: 3/13/2014

High school students Meghan and Mikayla know firsthand the effects bullying can have. When one of them was cyberbullied, they had to work together to heal from the experience and find a way to help others. As part of a school project, the friends decided to create a video about cyberbullying to spread awareness. Meghan writes, “The video was essentially to represent the scarring (represented by the marker) and the effects of how bullying affects someone’s everyday life. How it is basically a bad dream that you can’t escape.”

By: Meghan and Mikayla

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The Dark Won’t Just Disappear

Posted: 3/11/2014

Are we really in this constant internal struggle?
Where we hate ourselves
And we kill our brothers?
Acting like were animals
Taken each other
just to
Kindle more candles
And shame our mothers

It's the bullies at school
Even other countries
One day it's an April Fools!
Next: we don't agree
And all a sudden
We got bombs goin off
at all degrees

We still hangin on to our yes's please?
Throwing our trash in the right place or just debating about being free?

Not even that
We just got girls and boys on TV
Kids growin up, dreams of wanna Bs

Are lyrics the tissues soaking up our tears?
Where's mom where's dad?
Fears on-top of fears
More impressive then the pyramids
If you count the years
It's been long enough
We should know how to treat our peers.

Now Believe me I've seen it, Since I wasn't even a teen yet, I mean it

To Every bully and bullied
I declare: Be Aware
Dont be scared,
it's the snickers and sneers that got us here But persevere, And be sincere I promise this ain't the final tier

Cause starting this year
we quit whispering into ears
Start showing up at Poetry SLAMS for more than cheers or dough We've seen the Facebook posts!
But Rosa Park didn't TALK about sitten in front row!

I know! we don't have to wait for more dyin just do what I'm tryin-

So lets Be out there
Don't let the opportunity go like the polar bear Compliment someone on their shoes or their beautiful handsome hair Instead of what's easy Hate never got us anywhere

Don't have to be perFECT
Just don't let evil go unchECKED
Spread the seeds of love, give each other warm hugs, and watch us grow-greenhouse eFFECT

Most of all remember-
Feels good to be volunteers

So please please Stop- drinking beers
Cause
when you wake up
Pshhh
The dark won't just disappear.

By: Lauren

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Friends Against Bullying

Posted: 3/10/2014

This is my story about the time I got Bullied:

I have been bullied since kindergarten. That was just little picks. It all severely started in Middle School. Throughout middle school and the beginning of high school, I was tripped, shoved, kicked, hit and I was even talked about on the internet even though I don't even use social media like Facebook or any other type of internet site of that sort. A person even texted me to ask me out and it was all a joke. I thought that maybe there were people that liked me for who I was. In middle school, I tried to "fit in", only to stand out even more because the ones that acted like they were "helping" me, made even more of a joke of me. I started being called all kinds of names. It affected my whole school life. I was afraid of how high school was going to be. I went to summer school then on to 9th grade. I still cant believe that I had to fight my way through school. I got tired of all the garbage! I started to hit, kick and even slap back! Of course, that got me suspended. After all this time of crying and hurting, I finally fought back! Again, my bullies still came after me but I am the one that got suspended for standing up for myself. After the suspension, I left school for a bit and went to online school. I needed time to think about who I was and what I wanted to be and not how everyone else wanted me to act, dress, behave, etc. My classmates and peers were cruel and it tore me apart. When I was online schooled, it made me realize that I am one person. If I am running away, what is happening to the others that are being bullied? So it had me look at the real person I really am. So now I have a hard time making friends because I don't know who I can trust. I feel safe knowing that I have my own little circle of friends and some best friends. I have even started my personal project about bullying, "Friends United Against Bullying", I carry around a red notebook to have classmates sign a pledge that they will not bully others. And I am finally telling myself that I am not scared of anyone who puts me down, they need more out of it than I do. I am able to forgive the people that have done wrong to me but I will never forget.

My Friends Against Bullying website

By: Ashley

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Poem Against Bullying

Posted: 2/5/2014

Walk through the halls of an unknown land Trying to figure out how to fit in, May not be the same as everyone else, But is that a reason to cut me down? Every day I face a new battle don’t you see, Not knowing who will push or tease me.

Will I be made fun of for my clothes?

Will I be shunned for my shyness?

Will the other kids laugh and point?

Who will beat me up I think to myself,

when I am alone in the hall?

Will anyone hear my cries?

When I am running for my life?

Kids tell me I am to slow to score a goal, Teachers tell me you’ll never make the grade, They look at me and see what they want to see.

When will I be seen for me?

My parents tell me do not be afraid.

Do not listen to what they all say.

Your dreams are powerful and can be attained.

You are worth more than you’ll ever know Don’t give up on yourself.

I sit in my room at night and cry,

Wishing I was like them inside.

Why do kids hate me so much?

What did I ever do to make them hurt me so?

I just want the bullying to stop in school.

I want to be free to explore the world.

I want a chance to find myself,

I want to be happy once again.

I want to find the smile I once had.

I want to be seen for who I really am,

I just want a new beginning.

About the author:
I was a shy kid in school with many learning disabilities. I struggled with anxiety and depression and know what kind of impact that can have on a child. I also was told on several occasions that writing poetry would get me no where in life so why write. I write because I find joy in it and am good at it. Writing is something no one can take away from me. I have seen a lot of bullying going on in my childrens school and wanted to make a difference. After I saw the NFL players characters unite shows on television I decided to talk to some teachers about focusing our poetry unit in April around anti bullying poems and what it means to kids that are facing it in todays society. I know how bullying can crush a childs perception of them selves and how hard it is to go to school and face those fears every day. This is just my way of helping others.

By: Cory

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Advice

Posted: 1/29/2014

I would recommend to:

  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Try writing about it
  • If you can - try to not let the words get into you head.
  • Find a healthy way to take out your anger or fear.
  • Find a way to distract yourself
    • paint your nails
    • shop
    • listen to music or watch a movie
    • play a sport
    • play a video gam
  • Read a book
  • Sing
  • Draw
  • Write a note/letter/email to the person bullying, but don't send it or give it to them.
    • ( perfecto) !

      By: Felicia

      Permalink for Advice

      I Became My Own Hero

      Posted: 1/28/2014

      In my time of getting bullied, I contemplated suicide in more ways than one. I felt as though I was nothing at all but a waist of space. I was beaten, hated, and ridiculed just because I looked a little different from most kids my age. I would retreat to my room and reach under my bed and ,grab a knife or some type of sharp object. I remember putting it to my wrist, wanting to do it but I just couldn't for some odd reason. One day my mother had me come home and listen to a few instrumentals. She asked me "Do you want to go freestyle to one?" I didn't know what happened to the me on the inside. I felt brand new. I was happy and no one could stop this felling. It was like I was a super hero. Like Spider-Man or The Hulk I felt amazing. I started thinking about what I was told for so long and used those words as strength to try and draw power from. and get inspired off me because all my life I was told and taught I was nothing and now I'm something I proved them wrong I became my own hero. RobenX. I want to be yours as well. My super power is music and I want to use it for good to save you as it saved me.

      By: RobenX

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