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You’re Not Alone

Posted: 11/6/2015

All my life I’ve always felt less-than because that’s how my bullies made me feel. Every time I’d look in the mirror, I hated what I saw. I tried so hard to fit in. To stop all the "you’re ugly" "you’re fat" "ew". I started ditching class with the cool kids to be excepted. I started wearing clothes that got me dress-coded to look "hot". I started to not do my homework to be "cool". I wasn’t being who I was. And the harder I tried the harder life was. I woke up with puffy eyes from crying myself to sleep. Until, I met some amazing peopl e. They were kind to me, they appreciated me for who I was, they didn’t even notice my flaws. Those are the people you have to be with. I know how it feels, I care. You’re not alone.

By: Gia

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How I Got Bullied in School

Posted: 11/5/2015

When I went to the public school I was bullied from the time I was in Pre-K until my last year there which was 2nd grade. I even got kicked out of Pre-K for hitting the kid that was bullying me. Everyone used to call me names like "Germy" and make fun of me. It felt kind of like being killed and then revived again for them to start all over. Every time I told a teacher or an adult at school they told me ‘That didn’t happen" and then I got in trouble for telling. My Mom kept calling and going to school but the Principle and Councilor just told her that I was making it up, and that nobody was bothering me. Finally my Mom and Dad took me out of the school and put me in a public online school. Now I love going to school every day and I have all A’s which is really awesome, since I kept failing at the regular public school because I got tired of everyone not being nice. You see, I have a high I.Q. but I learn way different than everybody else because I have a behavioral disorder called Oppositional Defiance Disorder or O.D.D. and I can’t be still, so I was always interrupting the class, and that made everybody tease me more. Anyway, my name is Jeremy and I am 9yrs. old and that’s my story.

By: Jeremy

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Gift of Self Confidence

Posted: 10/30/2015

Haven’t we all been bullied or been a bully at some point in time? I am often asked what inspired me to write Monday at Jelly Roll Dog Park and am quick to respond with the standard answer- “bullying is all around us” or “my mission is to introduce the concepts and terminology at a younger age in a way that small children can understand.” But bullying hit me hard in the first grade.

To provide a little background, I attended a small Catholic school in San Francisco’s East Bay. I was a child struggling with the effects of neglect and abuse from a “trusted” babysitter. It was a fragile time in my development. At daycare, I learned that conforming was critical to my survival and at school, I became a focused student and high achiever as a form of control. Often dubbed “the teacher’s pet” because of my adherence to the strict rules enforced in the former nun’s classroom, I became a target for bullying.

At lunch, the “Three M’s,” who consisted of two boys and one girl whose names began with the same letter, would taunt me by stealing components of my lunch, playing keep-away with my chips or sandwich and later destroying them. For those of you who have ever experienced neglect, you understand that there is something very personal about stealing someone’s food. I was called names, tripped and even teased that I may have had AIDS because I was so thin. Keep in mind that this was the same year that AIDS was discovered and became a common topic of conversation among adults in my region. It got to the point where I dreaded to go out to play, withdrew from class activities and feared going to school. Left without many options, I finally received help from my mom. She went to the school and addressed the issue with the administration and the parents of the other kids. Miraculously, the kids stopped harassing me.

Because of my own experience, my 13 year-old son has grown up with a focus on his strengths and talents in order to encourage self-worth. It is something I have to work on constantly and consistently, as he has a tendency to veer toward focusing on his weaknesses and his own self-doubts. SELF CONFIDENCE IS THE GREATEST GIFT WE CAN GIVE OUR CHILDREN. Encouraging activities that are supported by his talents has created a new level of self-awareness and self-esteem in recent years. In addition, hearing the words “I’ve got your back,” followed by accompanying actions, has kept dialogue about bullying and problem solving such conflicts at the forefront of many of our family discussions.

Muttley, the main character in Monday at Jelly Roll Dog Park, is in many ways a part of the young girl I was in first grade – teased, ostracized, different. I realize now that my courage ultimately came from believing in myself, nurturing my talents, and knowing that I had someone on my side. But, I would have loved to have had those skills earlier!

By: Jennifer Schreiber, author of Monday at Jelly Roll Dog Park

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Bullying Prevention Police Car

Posted: 10/28/2015

Each year we attempt to initiate a campaign within our agency that brings awareness. This year we decided to develop an anti-bulling vehicle, which is driven each day by our elementary school resource officer. Our hope is that we develop a culture within our community that bullying is not acceptable and that it will not be tolerated. We believe that by bringing attention to this issue in Christiansburg, we can be part of the solution.

By: Chief of Police, Mark Sisson

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Bullying: It Isn’t Big To Make Others Feel Small

Posted: 10/27/2015

What should have been a fun, care-free, exciting time turned into a lonely, fearful, depressing time. Being a military brat and transplant a few years earlier during middle school didn’t quite help the bullying I experienced. I already felt like I didn’t belong in this small southern Maryland town so the harassment was only adding insult to injury. I was a fairly quiet kid who was shy in large groups… like school (which I later learned was just a part of my introverted personality type.)…Now, I get it… kids can be mean. Maybe I should’ve had a thicker skin… (or, I dunno, maybe kids just shouldn’t be so mean?) If I remember correctly, I never showed anyone at school that it bothered me. I never yelled back, I never ran off crying. I might have rolled my eyes but that was about it.

Slowly, things started to intensify. It not only got worse in school but spread to my place of work as well. It started with one girl and then it became a team effort with her sister involved. Food was smeared on my car, my email account hacked into, was accused of keying one of their cars (which I would never do – I was raised better than that), harassing voicemails left on my parents answering machine, fake emails sent acting like boys trying to flirt with me, one of the girls got in my face trying to fight me, continued name calling, constant slander and defamation of character… it just became a living hell…I couldn’t figure out why I was such a target or threat to them that they felt so compelled to make my life such a nightmare. I felt trapped, scared, and alone.

I stopped playing sports. I wasn’t interested in doing any of the things I wanted to do like yearbook, after school activities, clubs/groups… I was barely even involved in homecoming and prom.

Looking back, I’m not sure why I ever let someone inhibit me from enjoying things but I just knew it would be awful. I was broken down and didn’t want to deal with it anymore so I just pushed anything to do with school away from me. I even had early work release and was so glad I was able to escape school and be around adults. I just couldn’t wait to graduate.

The worst part about the entire thing was that no one stood with me. I was abandoned. Anytime there was a confrontation, everyone just stood and watched. People rallied around my bully – she surprisingly had friends. Those who were my friends didn’t want to be involved… very passive with their support mostly because they knew it was really bad and didn’t want to become a victim themselves. I do understand that because I wouldn’t wish what I went through on anyone. However, I really wish someone would have helped me be strong. Stood by me and helped me brave the storm.

Read more.

By: Jessica Starnes

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You’re Worth It!

Posted: 10/27/2015

I am currently 26 years old, when I was in school since the 2nd grade I was bullied. It was all kinds of different things; my clothes, my weight, my quietness (which was because of the bullying), being "alone", how good I got along with my teachers. I have learned that some of that bullying has been because of a lack of understanding. Some of it was the difference of priorities between them and myself and the other was because I was "different" I never went to a school dance, football game or anything. I was going to go to prom until my grandmother died the night before. A lot of those bullies made me even more self conscious of myself. Some of it has stuck with me and some has not. Somethings have changed and some haven't. Some of those bullies are now friends on facebook and some of them are still like they were in school. A few of them have written me and told me that my faith inspires them, which made me feel good. Bullying hurts, I almost failed a class because of it, but while we have people who bully us we also have those who care about us. The ones who care are the ones who get us through the rough spots.

My advice to you is this- There are always going to be more people who care about you than you know. Even if you find just one strong friend you have outweighed all of those bullies. My faith was my serenity. You're not the anything they tease you to be. You're identiy is in who you were created to be and the purpose you were given, don't let anyone else who is just as equal is you tell you how awful you are. Remember this, we are all different no matter how many are in a group, or how "big" or "powerful" the bully is they all have a different finger print, they are themselves and you are you, both with flaws and both with gifts. You're worth it!

By: Ashley

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#My Soul

Posted: 10/27/2015

#MySoul is a movement I created that inspires America's youth today to focus on inner beauty inside their soul. Instead of focusing on someone's physical beauty, #MySoul encourages our youth to focus on what's driving us within. For it is what drives our soul inside, that makes us truly beautiful on the outside.

#MySoul is a movement for society. Its intent is to capture the life inside of us, to spread love and share passion, provide strength and unity to all, and measure beauty from the inside out.

My soul is made of determination.

Determination that inspires your soul.

Determination that inspires our future.

Determination that shares a story with our youth…

That being beautiful means:

Being empowered to change the world.

Being beautiful means fighting for success, for love, for peace.

Being beautiful means growing within, learning, and showing strength in times of hardship.

Being beautiful means singing inside the grocery store, or dancing in the rain.

Being beautiful means finding truth within your soul, to captivate others around you... to inspire them to be their very best.

Being beautiful means not judging others for who they chose to be or who they were born to be.

Being beautiful means knowing who you are.

Being beautiful means standing up for what you believe in.

Being beautiful means finding your soul and looking at those who surround you every day for who they are beneath their skin… who they are, inside their soul.

We need to change the way we think about beauty.

We need to change the way society portrays beauty.

We need to change our minds on what being beautiful really means.

Because being beautiful is who you are within.

And that, is what #MySoul is all about; being beautiful from the inside, out.

I was inspired to create this movement after spending the last six years working in the mental health field. I noticed a common theme among all the youth I have worked with. They all struggled with self image, self confidence, and self esteem. They didn’t feel good enough, pretty enough, thin enough. And they were ALL being BULLIED. It truly hurt my heart. I needed to do something to empower these young souls, to help them understand that the true meaning of beauty comes from within. It doesn’t matter what people say about you, if you are happy with yourself within, you will know you are beautiful. With that inspiration, I developed #MySoul. I currently present this movement at Bradley Hospital in East Providence, Rhode Island. I work on the Adolescent Inpatient Unit with young boys and girls from age 12-18. Seeing them connect with my words, and feel inspired to spread the love makes me feel amazing. If I can change the lives of children for the rest of my life, I will be the happiest woman alive. Check out #MySoul at www.hashtagmysoul.com.

By: Kelly Finn

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Start of a New Tradition

Posted: 10/27/2015

I purchased the Unity Day t-shirts for my nephews (Aaron and Aiden) and niece (Amara) and asked my sister-in-law to have them wear it on the 21st. She shared with me the conversation they had about the shirts:

“I asked the kids if they knew what the shirts were for and Aaron right away said "yeah it's to stop people from bullying". Aiden piped in and said that we should be nice to everyone.

One of the things we try to teach the kids is to be accepting and respectful of peoples differences. We've had lots of talks about how a person's differences makes them unique. If everyone was the same, life would be pretty boring. We have a list of rules we go over in the car before school and one of the rules is to be nice to everyone.”

This will definitely become another fabulous, "feel good" tradition I have with my nephews and niece!

By: Albertha

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United in Kindergarten

Posted: 10/27/2015

Mrs. Barrett's Kindergarten Class in Charles County, MD, celebrated Unity Day this year by creating a short video, showing they are united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion! See the video>>>

By: Anonymous

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The Right Way

Posted: 10/20/2015

Singer-Songwriter Cat London and her production team went to Middlesex High School (NJ) and asked students to volunteer their opinion on what it means to treat others #TheRightWay. Thanks to Vince Inciong, music teacher at MSH and videographer of #TheRightWay, their kindness initiative unfolded through the voice of his students.

#TheRightWay is a bullying awareness and kindness campaign that grew out of London’s song, “The Right Way.” The duet features two young people struggling with acceptance, empathy, and bullying. The song makes us recognize that we are the same, we feel the same pain, but we might not realize it. We’re increasing awareness that we, as humans and peers, can achieve more through compassion, understanding, and willingness to dissolve barriers that perpetuate anger, hatred, and bullying.

A free download of The Right Way is available on NoiseTrade.com.

By: Anonymous

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