Skip to main content

Stories

(Page 2 of 57)
Filter by story categories:

All Stories

A celebration of unity

Posted: 6/3/2019

Students at Central High School in LaCrosse, Wisc., celebrated Unity Day on Oct. 19, 2016, by installing a 1,000-piece Unity Origami Peace Cranes Sculpture. This collaborative project was developed by members of the Art Club, led by teacher Lori Aschenbrener, and the Culture Club, Feminist Club, GSA-Gay-Straight Alliance, Chinese Club, and several non-club member students. They contributed to the school’s collection of 1,000 origami peace cranes as a symbol of unity in diversity and a community of compassion.

A special thank-you to the students who dedicated seven and a half hours of time to string and hang the cranes, and to all of the students and staff who contributed to the effort! Students and teachers shared that the project was great for the school community and that the creation of the origami cranes spread from student to student.

The project was inspired by the story of Sadako Sasaki, who lived in Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II. Before her death, she was inspired by the Japanese legend that if one folds 1,000 origami paper cranes, one would have their heart’s desire come true. Though Sadako died, the memory of her lives — her character and name live. Her story has been translated into many languages and students around the world read about her. She has become an inspiration to many whose efforts support peace and unity; that one’s effort does not go unnoticed.

Several students from Central High School shared their feelings about this experience:

“The whole process of making 1,000 cranes was a big task and the whole school pitched in to help. It was really awesome that we reached our goal. We, the students, were in charge. It was out of our creativity that we brought about the amazing unity at Central High.” —Peter

“I really enjoyed working on the paper crane project. I showed a lot of people how to make the cranes and some other kids took that skill and made more cranes for people in the community. One girl gave them to a person who was in the hospital and that made her day! The cranes brought happiness outside the school and into the community.” —Claire

“I connected to the 1,000 crane project because when I was in second grade through seventh grade I was bullied. Now I help support and protect every kid from being bullied or from becoming someone who bullies others, and I help them make friends instead.” —Kiya

Permalink for A celebration of unity


Anyone can be a hero

Posted: 6/2/2019

“Anyone can be a hero” is the motto of the student-led bullying prevention presentation given to the entire freshman class at Lincoln High School in Portland, Ore. Caleb, one of the students strongly affected by the presentation as a freshman, took on a leadership role in the bullying prevention program and is leading by example in his school and his community. (Read his story in Students Taking Action)

During the program, students are educated on the types of bullying and the effects of bullying, and they become motivated to be upstanders rather than bystanders. Student engagement is high because the presentations are given by peers, and the videos shown are of Lincoln High students talking about their own experiences with bullying and personal advice on how to overcome it.

The presentation also includes NCT, which stands for “Name It. Claim It. Tame It.” Scenarios accompany class discussion, and the students sign a “Be a Hero” pledge that says: “I am willing to stop bullying at Lincoln by saying something when I see it and reporting it when I need to.” The signed pledges are placed around the school as visual demonstrations of Lincoln’s ongoing commitment to motivating others to be an upstander when it comes to bullying, a person who recognizes that something is wrong and acts to make it right. 

Another valuable part of the program is that feedback is gathered from the freshman about what they learned, what was most effective, and what could be improved to make more of an impact. Feedback from students is really positive and includes statements such as “It changed my life,” “I now feel I have the courage to stand up against bullying,” and “I now know that I don’t have to fight bullying alone.”

“Since the student-led bullying prevention presentation has been implemented,” Caleb says, “we have seen the rate of bullying dramatically go down and countless lives touched.”

We thank Lincoln High School for being a leader in bullying prevention!

Permalink for Anyone can be a hero


Burton Tech Creates a Whole Year of Bullying Prevention

Posted: 6/1/2019

When faced with a persistent bullying problem at Burton Tech High School, the student, faculty, and administration decided to do something big: they devoted a whole class period for an entire school year, from August until June, to bullying prevention. The whole endeavor started when two 10th graders went to a teacher with the idea of doing something about the bullying problem that had impacted them both personally. That teacher, Allison Levine, helped them plan for a specialized “advisory” that would be devoted to reducing the amount of bullying in their school and supporting those who were being bullied. Ms. Levine went to Principal Rogelio Sanchez with a plan to have the advisory and plan activities throughout the year for the student body.

Starting with exercises and dialogue about their school culture and the bullying that was happening, they brainstormed how they could involve all students in becoming more aware of solutions to bullying they might be experiencing. After naming themselves the “Mentors and Protectors” (MAPS) they planned a large celebration for Unity Day in October that involved the school community, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, representatives from the military, trustees of Burton Tech, and parents. There was a poetry slam, speeches, and booths with games, crafts, and other activities. After that was over they began planning for what they called a “Bully Bootcamp,” where the MAPS students would teach and lead activities with the students from the rest of the school, one advisory after another until every student had participated. When that was completed, again with the support of Ms. Levine and Principal Sanchez, they began to write lessons for the incoming freshman orientation happening Summer 2017.

For their efforts, the Los Angeles Youth Advisory Board of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center voted to give MAPS a “Faces of Change” award and the school gave them their medals and certificates at an assembly attended by the school community and local officials. What’s next for this amazing group? Doing it all over again in the next school year! The Mentors and Protectors of Burton Tech are creating a community of kindness, acceptance, and inclusion a year at a time.

Permalink for Burton Tech Creates a Whole Year of Bullying Prevention


Postive Vibes

Posted: 6/1/2019

It all started in 2017 when two brothers, Ethan, age 9, and Merritt, age 6, were out surfing and Merritt got pummeled by a big wave. He reached the shore and exclaimed, “That was crazy, but epic! Actually bro, that was CREPIC!” and an idea was born: the boys wanted to design cool surf and skater apparel, and give back to the community.

With their parents’ blessing, Ethan and Merritt began their small surfing apparel company called Crepic. “One of the main issues we focused on with the boys was the concept of social entrepreneurship and using their little company to do good in the world,” said their dad, Chad. “We asked them what a meaningful cause would be for them and both immediately suggested bullying.” Bullying was a natural choice for Crepic. While both boys have been teased for wearing glasses and know how hurtful bullying can be, they also appreciate the issue from a different perspective.  “Our Dad is a pediatric plastic/reconstructive surgeon,” said Ethan, “and we’ve grown up with so many of his patients who have become our friends.” 

Chad hosted a viewing party of the movie “Wonder” at the Children’s Hospital in Miami. After seeing “Wonder,” Ethan confided in his father how moved he was by how the boy in the movie was treated. It was this connection between PACER and “Wonder” that helped the boys to decide to choose PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to receive a portion of the proceeds from Crepic.

Ethan and Merritt say they “truly are committed to spreading positive vibes and the concept behind their company is that life is not about being ’the best‘, but rather about being ’one’s own best.”  The message on their website is about spreading kindness and helping to prevent bullying!

At CREPIC, we're not into negative labels. We like spreading positivity and good karma throughout our community, and we all know that nobody likes to be called names be it on a board, on the field, or in the classroom.  That's why we are using our company to help end a problem so many young people face today.

Permalink for Postive Vibes


A Dreamer Against Bullying

Posted: 5/30/2019

Dorian learned at a young age that it is important to care about others and to be involved in the community. When Dorian hung out with friends, they told many stories about how they were bullied. He tried to stand up for classmates at school when they were bullied, but he was discouraged when he was called a “tattletale” or told to sit down. This upset Dorian, who wanted to help. He went to his mother and asked for her advice.

With his mother’s support, Dorian wrote and had published a book called DAB, Dreamers Against Bullying. He decided he wanted some of the proceeds from his book to be donated to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. Dorian also became the leader and organizer of Bikers Against Bullying, a youth event that holds bike nights in his community. He takes pride in speaking at several schools and has created dance skits related to bullying prevention.

Dorian wants other kids to know that bullying is wrong, and that they can stand up for themselves and others who are experiencing bullying. Dorian says, “I just want to inspire others to do good things and let them know it is okay to speak up.”

Permalink for A Dreamer Against Bullying


Peace Rally Says No to Bullying

Posted: 5/30/2019

Lockhart School in St. Thomas has been involved with PACER’s Unity Day and other bullying prevention efforts over the past few years. This April, they held a Peace Rally to create kindness and prevent bullying in their school. During the week they had an amazing time with skits, poetry, music and dance, all while emphasizing respect, tolerance and kindness. Joanne Saunders, a teacher at Lockhart Elementary who planned the rally, says, “We truly believe in our mission to help all students learn to get along, be respectful and considerate of each, and stop bullying.” Read more about how Lockhart School says no to bullying and yes to peace here >>>

Permalink for Peace Rally Says No to Bullying


Project on Bullying and Social Pressure

Posted: 5/29/2019

Ms. Dermer’s 5th grade class at Morikami Park Elementary School in Delray Beach, FL, was thinking about peer relationships and bullying. As part of their International Baccalaureate Program they are required to complete a yearlong study on a topic of their choice; the class chose bullying and social pressures. The students wrote to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to help answer their questions regarding peer pressure, bullying at school, and how social media plays a part. The class has been busy all year long: they created a website, sponsored Unity Day, read the book One to all kindergarten students and did an activity called the "Wrinkled Heart," and held a “No-Uniform Day” fundraiser. As part of the “No-Uniform Day,” students were allowed to pay $2 to dress casually at school. At the conclusion of this project, Ms. Dermer’s class decided to donate the money raised to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center!

Permalink for Project on Bullying and Social Pressure


I Have A Dream

Posted: 5/28/2019

A powerful video created by the student group “istand” at Citrus Grove Elementary in Palm City, Florida. Shawna Hixon, along with Sharon Moody and Alicia Carter, coordinates the efforts of these amazing students and shares, “People don’t realize bullying occurs in elementary school. If adults took a chance to sit down with a group of kids, like we do with this group, they would realize that bullying is there and students don’t know how to deal with it. The students came up with this project and I think you can see from their message when watching this video that they really care and want to help others. We are here to help teach them strategies early, before middle and high school, to deal with bullying and how to share them with others. But, most importantly, that we are here to listen, help and stand beside them when they feel so alone.”

Permalink for I Have A Dream


I Want You to Know

Posted: 5/25/2019

“I want you to know that you are not invisible, you are not forgettable; you are wonderful.”

This is one of many kind lyrics in Grace Rembinski’s new song titled, “I Want You to Know.” She co-wrote this song, recorded in both English and Spanish, for “friends and for anyone who has ever been told that they are not good enough. To show them that no matter how awful people make you feel, how hopeless life may seem, things do get better; and many others have been in your shoes. If you believe in yourself, that's all you need and with that, anything is possible.”

Grace first experienced bullying when she was in 6th grade by a group of people she considered her friends. It began when she started singing and performing in the local community theatre. Soon after, she found out they were finding any reason to make fun of her. “My "friends’ would walk by me in the school halls or in our neighborhood like I wasn't there. I was being made fun of for my ‘big crooked teeth,’ for being a ‘nerd,’ for dressing differently than everyone else, and for the way my hair looked. They said I was ‘different,’ and I was feeling left out of everything,” said Grace.

One day Grace decided she didn’t deserve to be treated that way. “I was done going through the things I had gone through. I stopped trying to make excuses for the way I was, and made new friends that loved me for me. I also just didn’t care what people thought anymore. This was probably the hardest thing for me to do. To embrace the things that made me ‘different’ and to just be myself.”

After connecting with a music producer in Nashville, Grace realized that through music, she could show others that they deserve to be treated with kindness. Due to the affects bullying had on her, Grace really wanted to build a song about self-love, and she did just that with “I Want You to Know.”

“Now, I have a wonderful group of friends, who unfortunately have also experienced bullying. My hope is that people, adults and kids, can listen to this song and feel inspired to be themselves.”

Permalink for I Want You to Know


Bully Free Starts with Me

Posted: 5/20/2019

As a young girl, Haley Bird was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy. She could not touch, breathe, or be in the same room with peanuts. As a result, she grew up knowing what she could and could not eat. As Haley got older, things began to get more difficult. Her peers would tease, call her names, and even wave candy in her face. Teachers would hang-up signs in the classroom to show that no peanuts were allowed, which made her even more of a target. When the bullying got worse, Haley’s parents met with her school to implement a 504 plan to insure she was safe on school grounds.

“I always knew I was different and faced many obstacles because of my food allergy,” says Haley. “However, I am fortunate that my parents have been so supportive of the issues regarding my food allergy, as well as my experiences being a target of bullying because of it. That is why it is so important to tell someone you trust if you are being bullied or if you witness bullying behavior.”

For these reasons, Haley, now Miss Arkansas International 2017, chose the platform of “Bully Free Starts with Me.” She is educating young children to know where to turn if they are being bullied and to not let the words, actions, or ignorance of others defeat them. She is sharing this message with as many people as she can, including Arkansas state senators, representatives, and the governor who care so much about bully prevention. “I am working as a voice with them,” says Haley.

“No matter what people say to you it does not define the person you are. Yes, I was bullied in school, but I now use my story to empower those around me. If we all foster love, I believe that bullying will eventually end. One word or action can change a person’s life. Stand up for those around you.”

Permalink for Bully Free Starts with Me


(Page 2 of 57)

Send Us Your Story or Video

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.

[email protected]