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Remember it’s cool to be a N.E.R.D and stand up against bullying. Nice, Educated, Respectful, Determined

Posted: 2/19/2020

My name is Joshua Robert Thomas and I hope you will take a stand with me against bullying. The difficult thing about attending school today is that you see people putting others down, rather than picking them up. At my former middle school, there were a lot of fights and bullying. Going to school just to hang out with friends and learn was a hard thing for a lot of students, including me. Sad to say, but not much has changed as a current high school student. Since junior high, I have been thinking about how I can help stop bullying, not just at my school, but across the nation.

I have created a clothing line intended to raise awareness about bullying that happens across the globe. It is called Znerd. The Z comes from generation Z, which are children born in the early 1990’s-2010; we are also known as digital natives, the technical kids who help our parents. Our vision statement at Znerd is to promote bullying prevention with dedication, determination, and inspiration. The word N.E.R.D. stands for nice, educated, respectful, and determined, the characteristics that make our society a better place to live. If I can get students across the nation to understand this, together we can help prevent bullying and create a safe environment for those students with low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, anger, and rage.

As you take a look at the sweatshirt in the picture, I would like to explain my unique design. Please bring your attention to the confident young man on the front of my shirt; this is me and I represent confidence and style. The first line, Znerd worldwide generation, is a reference to bringing awareness about the dangers of bullying across the world. I included my zip code for Iowa City, Iowa to represent my home town, where I came up with the concept for Znerd. On the back, you will see the letters S.T.B. and the emoji that stands for ‘Stop the Bullying.’ The emoji gives a look that says please, in a stern expression, leave me alone I am sick and tired of being bullied. As a young teen, I really believe in the importance of helping to stop this tragic epidemic.

Many of us are familiar with the old saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” That saying may have worked for some kids, but today I find that the mean and destructive words coming from students who are bullies are doing more damage than sticks and stones could ever do. As a young entrepreneur, student, sweatshirt designer, and human being, my goal is to have companies and schools across the globe purchase these shirts, and stand up to bullying! Please contact [email protected] for more information. Remember it’s cool to be a N.E.R.D and to stand up against bullying: Nice, Educated, Respectful, and Determined!