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Walnut Street Theater – Philadelphia, PA

Posted: 10/30/2013

We work in two distinct ways to combat bullying. Eight years ago we commissioned a play called The Boy Who Cried Bully and featured that as part of our touring outreach company. We take shows directly out to schools and when we introduced this play we went from reaching 40,000 students a year in the Philadelphia area to 80,000. Since that first year we have featured an anti-bullying play every year and have commissioned three other plays- The Bully Buster Rides Again, Mean Girlz R Bullies 2, and Only 13. Each show is based on the Olweus Anti-Bullying program and we create a study guide for teachers to use in connection with the shows as well.

Our other program takes teaching artists and sends them directly into area classrooms creating a curriculum that uses theatre to both teach about and directly address the causes and effects of bullying. We create student generated performances where kids can teach other kids about the dangers of bullying and the best ways to combat it. The students are up on their feet directly engaged in the material. The work they have created has been inspiring and teachers have shared with us stories about the positive impact these programs have had in their schools.

Watch a preview of Walnut Street Theater’s bullying prevention shows here.

By: Anonymous

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Bully

Posted: 10/28/2013

I was bullied in my middle school year when I was participating in the School Talent show. Since I love singing, I am resentful to participate in that program anymore because it has destroyed my confidence. However, it did not stop me to write my music and sing at home and joined a small studio. “Bully” has given me the chance to prove to those who put me down.

By: Irene Henderson

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Safe Zone

Posted: 10/24/2013

I’m 16 years old and I have been a victim of bullying for the past few months. I’m a junior in high school and I’ll be honest, I never thought I would be a victim. I’ve been called fat and ugly multiple times to my face by two younger boys that I don't even know who they are. Every time I see them, they will whisper something under there breath about me and then start laughing. Now, what these boys don’t know is that I have severe depression as well as social anxiety. I’ve had depression for the past two years and having this happened has raised my depression to an all time high. Since being bullied I have realized that there needs to be a stop to this. Someone needs to make a difference, everyday more and more kids are getting bullied over things they have no control over changing. Students, including myself, are scared of going to school because of how they get treated by other students. That right there should raise a red flag, no student should ever feel scared to go to school. All the administrators are always saying how school is supposed to be a fun ans SAFE learning environment. But what they don’t realize is just how many students are scared to come to a school where getting bullied is all that happens to them every single day. Bullying is increasing daily, the numbers aren’t going down. I’m willing to become apart of a teen safe zone organization or something to let victims of bullying know that there not alone. They can come to this zone to feel safe and know that what is being said to them is far from ever being true and that every single individual is amazing in there own unique ways. Bullying needs to be stopped. A difference will be made.

By: Sierra

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Bully going too far

Posted: 10/24/2013

They harass me every day they show me I’m nothing
They make me feel like the dirt under their feet
Every cut is every word that hurts
The scars remind me of the things I have went through and how badly they affected me
The deeper they are the more pain I went through
They are there forever
Just like the memories they have given me to always be in my mind
They won’t ever leave
They will haunt me
FOREVER

P.s Words hurt THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK

By: Vikki

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Be Strong! Be Who You Are!

Posted: 10/24/2013

This is my story of bullying and how its has effected my life. It actually started when I first started going to school which means kindergarden. I went to school starting off with a hearing loss which means I wear hearing aids. The kids always laughed at me. They always called me mean names and so I didn't like to come to school from the very beginning. 1st and 2nd grade came around and I wasn't growing like I was suppose to so everyone laughed at me because I was short. They even laughed because I had small ears. By 3rd grade, my grades were going down hill and so my mom and Step-dad packed my 3 brothers, my sister and I and moved 30 miles away. I started school okay but then I started getting bullied again but this time it was physical. I would come home with a bruise on the arm or some cuts on the legs; My mom would ask me what happened and I would say that I fell. At this time, Bullying wasn't a huge problem so if I would've gone to the teachers they wouldn't have done anything. But then my mom started getting suspicious and actually watched me during my recess one day and saw the person hurt me! That made my mom really mad. By then I was already in my 2nd year of school there so I was in 5th grade. I remember one day in Phy Ed, I had actually made myself faint because I couldn't run anymore but I didn't want to get laughed at so I kept running. So grades were still low so my whole family move another 15 miles. I started middle school in 6th grade. I remember being so scared because the school was huge. By 6th grade the bullying had gotten so bad that I now have depression and severe anxiety. 6th grade I had gotten my first boyfriend but it turned out he was dared to date me so I was sad for little bit. 7th grade came around and things looked like it could get better! I had made High Honors the whole year! Then 8th grade. Gosh this was the 2nd worst year yet! I failed 4 of my classes! I had gotten 3 detentions. I was never doing my homework. I failed mentally. I was never a bad kid until then. Everything was falling apart my mom and Step-dad got divorced. I had 2 surgeries on my back that year. And I also found out I have migraines! I missed a lot of school but when I was there; I was either in Trouble or not doing anything. I did pass 8th grade with a C average. Then 9th grade [high school] (my current school year) This is the worst year yet! I am failing every class, because I am afraid to look up. I think that I will see people laughing at me! When I walk through the halls; I put my music in and I just zone out! I don't like lunch because I'm afraid to eat in front of people. I don't raise my hand because I think that I'm so stupid that even my questions are stupid. I wanted to give up on life. But then I think to myself. How would my family feel? I have tried to commit suicide but every time I think of my baby sister, and my baby brother! They are seriously the only thing keeping me alive! So I been bullied so much that it has effected me physically and mentally! Bullying is truly not cool! People do give up their life's because they feel like they are unwanted. I pledge to help stop bullying! Its something no one should ever EVER have to deal with! Tips for others..... Be strong! Be who you are! Don't let society change the true you thats inside!

By: Jasmine

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Learning to Like Myself

Posted: 10/21/2013

I am a child psychologist and I am obese. I had gastric bypass surgery and lost 150 pounds. I have kept it off for over 8 years, but am still overweight. I want to point out that adults can also bully children!

One of my most painful childhood memories was when I was 11 years old. I was at a regular checkup with the pediatrician, a highly respected doctor in my community. At the end of the exam he told me I needed to lose weight because boys don’t like fat girls........

Those words impacted my self esteem for years until I learned to like myself. I then focused on getting my doctoral degree in child psychology so I could help children overcome their own struggles with such devastating views.

By: Anonymous

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Stop

Posted: 10/20/2013

Quieres que te oigan
quieres que te entiendan
y nadie te quiere escuchar
tienes mucho miedo de decir las cosas
y tu corazon no da mas
pero hoy se fuerte y valiente
ya no calles lo que esta mal
mira hacia el cielo y hacia el frente
y ya no te vuelvas atras

Coro:
Dile no no no
Dile stop stop stop
a los que tus suenos quieren robar x2

Dile no no no
Dile stop stop stop
al bullying ya nunca mas

Eres importante aunque no lo entiendas
pues tu vida tiene valor
Eres un diamante dentro de una piedra
que ha guardado tanto dolor
pero hoy se fuerte y valiente
ya no calles lo que esta mal
mira hacia el cielo y hacia el frente
y ya no te vuelvas atras

No a la violencia
si a la vida
No al acoso si al amor
No a la tristeza si a la belleza
Que Dios puso en tu interior

English translation and adaptation by Joel Angel Hernandez.

Verse 1
You want to be heard
You need someone to understand
But seems like nobody cares
You are so afraid
To open up your heart
Your feeling can’t wait to explode

Pre-Chorus
But you can be stronger
Today be bolder
Can’t hide no more
What is unfair
Look up to heaven
This is your moment
There’s no more turning around

Chorus:
Say No, no, no
Say Stop, stop, stop
To the ones that shattered your dreams
Say No, no, no
Say Stop, stop, stop
No more bullying what you need is our love.

Verse 2:
You are a gift from heaven
You are really important
You are more than you really know
You are a precious diamond
Hidden in a rock
Covered with the dust of your pain.

Pre-Chorus
But you can be stronger
Today be bolder
Can’t hide no more
What is unfair
Look up to heaven
This is your moment
There’s no more turning around

Chorus:
Say No, no, no
Say Stop, stop, stop
To the ones that shattered your dreams
Say No, no, no
Say Stop, stop, stop
No more bullying what you need is our love.

Bridge:
No to violence and yes to life
No to hate and yes to love
No more sadness and yes to the beauty
That was given to you by God.

By: Nicole Herrera

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Being Our True Selves

Posted: 10/17/2013

I’ve been bullied for many, many years. I actually don’t remember a year in my life when I haven't been bullied... At first, I just kind of shrugged it off and went on with my life. But after a while, it continued to build up, and I started to act out. I was skipping school, my grades were suffering, and I was becoming very short tempered. Nothing was going right, really. Then, when I was 14 year old, I was selected to go to a Disney Friends For Change camp in Arizona. There, I learned about bullying and leadership. I learned that I truly can make a difference in my community, and that bullying CAN in fact be stopped. So, when I came back to my community, I started to do something. I taught a multitude of seminars at some of the local colleges and universities, teaching the importance of sticking together and standing up to the bullies. I told my students that our words and actions can impact anybody and everybody. To date, I’ve taught over 20 seminars on bullying, and I’ve taught about a thousand students, ranging from ages 10-60. I have also started a social justice club in my school. At first, there were only about 15 students, but after only a couple of short months, there are almost 40 students involved with the club! I also got my school to be a We School and got us tickets to We Day. The reaction in my community has been so positive and supportive, it’s truly fabulous. I just hope that I can do more for the community, and help to create a movement to wipe out bullying in my community. I have Free the Children and Disney to thank for my success. Without them, I don’t know where I would be today. I also want all of those who have been bullied to know that they are not alone. They’re not alone, and we will one day be bully-free. We'll be able to be our true selves and have a good life, once more.

By: Laura

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Do You Know Who I Am?

Posted: 10/15/2013

My name is Amaranthia Gittens-Jones. I was bullied since the day I moved back to America from Tokyo, Japan at age 7. I am now 14. I dealt with stress from bullying at school for this entire time period and became very sick because of it. In order to cope I used my artistic ability and created many original pieces of art. This year in 7th grade, I decided not to accept bullying in my life anymore. However, I was bullied throughout the year. It was a fight to continue getting good grades and to stay in school. My stress level was very high and I was traumatized and tested positive for an autoimmune disorder months later. In the last few months my life truly changed. Through it all, I continued to produce more art. I am no longer in Public School and am now home schooled. My Mom created a webpage telling my story and she has used it to help me recover and heal. I have donated my artwork to help other people. I’m doing 4-5 solo art shows with 20-25 art pieces in them including at the New Hampshire Technical Institute’s gallery, Concord, New Hampshire in January 2014. My goal was to have a solo art show at some point in my teenage life but now I have more than I expected. I am going to continue to help others by donating my art or money from my art sales. Bullying prevention is important to me because I became very sick from it. “Do You Know Who I Am?” is a project i created to heal as well as to share my story and raise awareness. I want to help other kids who are having problems or who are sick because of bullying. Kids can download my project as a PDF template from my website and use their talents to share their stories to fight back against bullying. I hope my story will inspire them. See my Youtube Anti-Bullying message and my website information here: http://youtu.be/hYRm1Mrbj-w

This photo shows the characters “Giro and Kazune” from my Comic/Manga work in progress “Kuboro.” Part of the story deals with bullying in a school in the year 2025. Giro helps Kazune, who is very shy, to come out of her shell. See KuboroDKode website here: http://kuboro.wordpress.com

By: Amaranthia Gittens-Jones

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Turning My Experience Into Song

Posted: 10/14/2013

“Her” is about a personal story during my junior year of high school. I was caught in between family conflict, abuse, seeing my sister delve into drugs, and seeing my eldest sister taken advantage by guys, and I was made fun a lot in school. I had no friends. There was one other peer that talked me out of it through Facebook messaging. Afterwards, I wanted to be her friend because I thought she was genuine and would listen. Unfortunately, she did not feel the same. She got caught in the high school mentality...It made me depressed but I want to be able to help other kids who are in despair.

Listen to Stephanie’s song, “Her.”

By: Stephanie

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