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Julie Hertzog, Directors Blog You can also check out our Directors Blog, "Our goal is to be thoughtful and positive in what we do. We work with schools and parents and kids, encouraging everyone to come together to prevent bullying"

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We Lead By Example

Posted: 4/15/2019

The Tae Kwon Do Ramblers Bullying Busters, a group of martial arts students and their parents and local area participants, led down the sidewalks by Bladensburg Mayor Walter James and accompanied by Bladensburg police, braved the cold, misty rain and marched from the Bladensburg Community Center down a main road leading into Washington, DC, and back to the center. They carried signs and chanted and were greeted by honking shows of support from passing motorists. The day culminated in a stirring rally at the center's gym and made for a very successful first annual Walk and Rally for National Bullying Prevention Month. At the rally, Grandmaster Dr. Clifford L. Thomas' students performed skits to demonstrate ways to address bullying encounters. Maryland Senators Joanne C. Benson and Victor Ramirez; Prince George's County Delegate Jimmy Tarlau; Bladensburg Council Members Trina Brown, Walter Ficklin, and Beverly Hall; local and regional activist Malcolm Augustine; and adult bullying prevention activist Novella Matthews spoke at the rally and made it clear that this community actively cares and acknowledges the work that needs to be done to mitigate bullying behavior. We Lead By Example, Inc./Tae Kwon Do Ramblers Self-Defense Systems is a leader in bullying prevention and supports efforts against bullying throughout the year.

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An Outstanding Teen Promotes Bullying Prevention

Posted: 4/15/2019

Cassidy Stoltenberg is the 2016 Miss Randolph County Outstanding Teen and has reached out to schools and community groups in North Carolina to educate students about bullying prevention. She has done some amazing things in the community!

  • Created videos discussing bullying
  • Provided public service announcements for the local radio stations to promote bullying prevention
  • Made hundreds of orange ribbons to be distributed in the schools
  • Provided written literature and presented PACER’s Teens Against Bullying message to middle and high school students
  • Initiated petitions to bring an end to bullying. Cassidy has almost 1000 signatures from students who have taken the pledge recognizing that "The end of bullying begins with me"
  • Started open discussions during Young Life club meetings to encourage others to join in bringing more awareness to issues of bullying within the community

Cassidy is also planning to request a governor’s proclamation naming October as North Carolina's National Bullying Prevention Month. She will be competing in Miss North Carolina's Outstanding Teen Pageant this summer with a goal to be crowned, and use her platform to further the discussion across North Carolina about bullying prevention. Learn more about Cassidy's efforts.

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Running For a Cause

Posted: 4/10/2019

After experiencing bullying, 14-year-old Spencer decided he wanted to give back to his community by holding a Run Against Bullying. He worked to involve his entire community by reaching out to local schools as well as local businesses for sponsorship. “I decided that I wanted to find out a way to help children avoid being bullied, like I was,” said Spencer. “I love to run and always race in events that raise money for charities. I combined both passions and hosted Spencer’s Run Against Bullying.” Along with organizing the race, Spencer ran 100 miles during his training for the big day. The race was a huge success, raising $16,000! Spencer donated proceeds from the race to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, his elementary and middle school, and to other local schools to start a bullying prevention task force.

After his own experience with bullying, Spencer has some advice for students who may be experiencing themselves. “I believe it’s important to stay true to who you are,” says Spencer. “Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about being different. Everyone is different!”

To learn more about Spencer and his story, check out the inspiring video he made here.

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Posted: 4/10/2019

Excelsior Middle School leadership teacher Kim Karr co-founded a program called #iCANHELP after being inspired by a student concerned about a fake and damaging Facebook page about a local teacher. Kim realized that students wanted to do something about the bullying and negativity on social media sites, they just needed the right tools to respond. The #iCANHELP message is clear- one person has the power to make a difference and delete negativity online and in his or her life.

Excelsior Middle School students have embraced this message and put it into action. They have been instrumental in getting many fake, damaging sites taken down simply by respectfully commenting, reporting the site, and using positive words to combat the negativity. They helped to make sure the victim knows he or she is not alone. EMS students have also changed how they interact online and made a conscious decision to do their part to make social media a more positive place to be. The movement at EMS has inspired hundreds of schools across the nation to also implement #iCANHELP. Students travel to help spread this amazing message through assemblies and leadership trainings.

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Tell Me

Posted: 4/5/2019

Students enrolled in a therapeutic support program in New York were concerned about bullying, and wanted to do something to prevent it. Along with their teachers, they came up with the idea of creating a video that would share their stories and empower others. The theme of the video is “Tell Me” – as in tell a teacher, parent, administrator, or coach when you are being bullied or witness bullying. The creators of the video want all students to feel safe and supported in their school, and this video lets them know that they are not alone.

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Girls Against Bullying Girls

Posted: 4/5/2019

I was first bullied in first grade. I was told I was stupid and fat. I was hit. In school there was a group of girls that would gang up on me. I knew then that I had to do something about this problem. After weeks of name calling and comments I finally went to my parents. In 2009 I started G.A.B. Girls. I was only 9, so I knew I needed help; to not only help my friends and myself but other children.

Together my mom and I brainstormed what we wanted our support group to stand for. We came up with G.A.B. Girls (Girls Against Bullying Girls). Mom had me research and read about bullying, as well as abusive behavior, so I could learn to help others and help me understand why some people could be cruel. My parents set up a Facebook and website. Mom ordered bracelets and t-shirts. I answer all my own email from girls asking for advice or moms wanting to help their kids. We just started doing workshops two years ago. I really enjoy doing them and know that I am making a difference. My website is

My workshops help teach others about anti bullying, building self-confidence, and working together to make a difference. In my workshops I use my 5 step plan B.R.A.V.E. I also teach them to tell the bully to stop, walk away from the bully, tell an adult that they trust, and never fight back with the bully. Last year I went to Atlanta, Georgia to speak about G.A.B. at Kids are Heroes. I really enjoyed it because I was able to meet kids from all over the world who have their own passion to make a positive difference. I also had so many people come to me and tell me their story about when they were being picked on by another.

We all need to all stand up if we see bullying going on and we need to take a stand to do what is right, to make a positive difference in our community. Here is my advice,"don’t be a bystander on anything." If you see someone being mean or doing something wrong, SAY SOMETHING. Think how you would feel if you were in that victim’s shoes and were all by yourself. Get involved in your community and school. Find trusted adults and ask for their support. Start a support group or just volunteer to a cause that is important to you. It can be something as simple as offering to help pick up sticks in an older person’s yard.

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Raise the 5 Percent

Posted: 4/1/2019

Technology has led to new ways for people to bully each other, it’s called cyberbullying. Kids of all ages are constantly on social media websites boasting their opinion about whatever, and whoever they want to. There has always been that one person on the internet that feels they need to make others feel bad. I would know — as I was one of those targeted. I was constantly harassed and at times threatened over social media.

My story goes like this, all throughout middle school and through a good part of high school, I had a Facebook profile. I would always post what I was thinking and how things were going. Then one day I found out that you could post your relationship status on your basic info page. Since the girl I was dating at the time was on Facebook I thought it would be a good idea to post that I was in a relationship with her. To this day I consider it to be one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

After that post, I was bombarded daily by insults from people boasting their opinion about my relationship status. At times I received threats from people who didn't even live where I was from. The feelings that resulted from the bullying were unlike any I could ever imagine. I have always been one of the bigger students on campus. This being the case, nobody ever tried to bully me in person. But when people started to “Bully” me online, I realized just how little I was in this world. From that day on I made a vow, which was to never use any form of social media again. I thought that deleting all of my social media accounts would help end my problems and in a way it did. Then I saw how I wasn't the only one who had been affected by cyberbullying. I realized that there have been so many cases in which people were bullied to the point where they begin to harm themselves and at times even commit suicide. I knew that I had to do something.

My name is Kellen and I am want to be a part of the bullying prevention movement. I did some research and found that only 5% of students who witness cyberbullying ever report it. I feel that it is my duty to spread awareness about the subject, so I created "Raise the 5%." It’s goal is spreading awareness on cyberbullying. I have created a twitter account, which you follow at @RaiseThe5. Together we can stop cyberbullying.

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Raise Your Crown Against Bullying

Posted: 3/30/2019

My name is Olivia Pierce. I am 14 and in the 8th grade. When I was in kindergarten, I struggled with a learning disorder and acted out in class due to frustration. The other kids saw I was different and would bully me. No matter what I did after that, the kids never accepted me. With some help from my parents and teachers, things got better for me academically, but I was still bullied and didn’t have many friends. Luckily, I was able to turn to my parents for help. You should always tell your parents or another adult if you are bullied.

I’ve been told I have thick skin, because I kept trying to make new friends even though it felt like I would never have any. In middle school, I finally have some good friends and they do not judge me based upon my behavior in Kindergarten. Because of my experience, I go out of my way to make kids feel accepted and I do not judge them because they are different. Now I have a lot of friends who support me in my stopping bullying effort and they accept me for who I am because I accept everyone for who they are. I don’t care what other people think of them because, to me, everyone is special on the inside no matter what they are on the outside.

A year ago, I launched the “Raise Your Crown Against Bullying” initiative to help show other kids that are bullied that they are not alone. I also spend a lot of my volunteer time being an advocate for bullying prevention causes. I want every kid out there to know that bullying can happen to anyone, even adults. It is wrong, and everybody should be treated kindly.

As a result of my volunteering this past year, I earned The Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award for completing 125 hours of community service. That was such an honor. Some of my bullying prevention activities include The Faces of Change — The Youth Advisory Board of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, PACER’s Run Walk and Roll Against Bullying, and advocating through my own nonprofit “Raise Your Crown Against Bullying.” Learn more on my Facebook page.

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Hear the Silence

Posted: 3/25/2019

drew nichols I have been interested in helping people all of my life and was aware of friends around me being bullied so I decided to look up statistics and was alarmed with the epidemic numbers. So I reached out to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and was granted permission to produce a Public Service Announcement entitled “Hear the Silence” for my Girl Scout Gold Award. The goal was to get a perspective of a mother and daughter, as well as the viewpoint of someone who had bullied. I discovered in my interviews that several years ago, I was a participant of bullying and wanted to interweave my personal experience into the story. I hoped to bring attention from all angles of bullying and hope my story will help others combat peer pressure, to recognize if they are being bullied, and to get help.

I discovered a lot about myself, and how we all struggle with finding our voice and learning how to be strong and empowered. I apologized to the mother and daughter and we remain good friends. My advice, reach out and speak out so you can be part of the solution, not the problem. To quote Alexander Pope, to err, is human but to forgive, is divine!

View Drew’s brochure designed for young students

By: Drew Nichols

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Bullying Prevention Around the World

Posted: 3/25/2019

wako international hsAt Wako International High School in Saitama, Japan, 240 students recently completed a project to examine what they identified as the most pressing social issues facing Japanese youth today. One of these issues was bullying, and the students researched the issue, interviewed experts, and created websites to promote awareness and education. Their teachers, Die Hu, Alana Schramm, and Rebecca Quin designed the project after reading about a student in South Japan who committed suicide after being severely bullied. She wanted her students to work on their English skills in an interesting and meaningful way and to engage with an issue that mattered to them. Die Hu writes, “The project name "Be the change" aims to empower students to be the ones who initiate impact and influences in their environments. And by creating the websites, they ARE being the change by raising awareness of the issues. Which was why it was important for the students to see that real organizations in the real world are supporting their work.” Many teachers contributed to this project, including Mr. Takishima, Mr. Mizoe, Ms. Shinto, Ms. Kinoshita, Mr. Asami, Ms. Koshino, and Ms. Kokubun.

Before completing the project, many students said that they had never really thought about the seriousness of bullying. But this project gave them the opportunity to learn more about the issue and to develop empathy for the students who bully others as well as the targets. One student wrote, "I have been bullied when I was an elementary school student. So I think I know feeling of the people who are bullied. Bullying is very painful, and gives us loneliness. People that are bullied are looking for help."

Thank you to the Wako International High School for sharing your project with us. Bullying is an important issue around the world, and we appreciate the opportunity to engage with champions across the globe.

You can see the websites created by students here.

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