Skip to main content

Meet Jake Ross - Episode 3

Meet Jake Ross - Episode 3

We are thrilled to have an exciting interview for this week’s episode of PACERTalks About Bullying. Today, we’ll hear from Jake Ross, a student advocate for bullying prevention. He’ll share more about his journey in getting involved with this important issue and why student voice is so important. Make sure to check back next week as we share another exciting interview with a new perspective!

  • Author: NBPC
  • Duration: 6:08 minutes
  • Date Posted: 9/19/2018

Series: PACERTalks About Bullying - Season 2

We are thrilled to return for another season with more videos featuring interviews, stories, and informational content. New this season will be the feature “Ask Us” in which we will respond to questions from students around the world.


>> Hey there. Welcome back to PACERTalks About Bullying. I'm Bailey [assumed spelling]. We're glad you're here.

National Bullying Prevention Month is just around the corner and this is a great time for students to get involved and to share their voice. In this week's episode, we have an exciting interview with Jake, a student activist for bullying prevention. Today, he's going to share a little bit about his experience and why student voice is so important. Now, let's get into the episode.

We're so excited to have Jake this week on PACERTalks about Bullying. Thanks for being our very special guest.

>> Oh, thank you. Thanks for having me.

>> So, my first question is, would you just tell us a little bit more about yourself and kind of how you first got involved in bullying prevention?

>> So, I'm in 11th grade and in 2013, I attended a youth summit about the State [inaudible] Minnesota's School Act, which was like a piece of legislation that was going through at that point. And, from there, I got involved with like testifying in support of legislation and collecting signatures for it on petition drives and stuff like that.

>> Yeah, that's amazing. And, you've been really involved in the issue since then, so like five years now, right?

>> Oh, yeah. I'm also -- after it passed, I got onto the council that's in charge of overseeing it.

>> So, you mentioned you were involved with the 2014 Minnesota legislation around bullying. Would you be able to tell us a little bit more about that?

>> The 2014 legislation about bullying really strengthened Minnesota's antibullying policies. The old [inaudible] really didn't require much and it didn't provide many resources for like schools and districts to help prevent bullying. So, a lot of schools and districts didn't really have the strongest policies at the time. But, now with the new law, there's a lot of new resources and different things that can help schools prevent bullying more effectively.

>> So, you've been involved with bullying prevention, an advocate for the issue from a young age. So, I'd love to learn a little bit more about what inspired you to get involved and how your involvement has kind of inspired of who you are today.

>> Well, I've been bullied in school and the school didn't really have those effective policies, so I'd always been thinking about like how that could potentially be changed and then I started to meet like more people who had had similar issues in the past. And, then we learned about like safe schools and that I think became a big catalyst towards getting a lot of people involved in the issue of bullying prevention.

>> That's amazing. And, how has it kind of inspired you today after being able to use your voice for this amazing law that passed?

>> I feel like it's made me like a lot more aware of how students can use their voice to get things changed. It also made me more aware of like political process and how that impacts everyday life. So, I think that now I know a lot more about how students can change things if they do get involved and that's inspired me to get involved in more efforts to create social change and things like that.

>> So, going off the last kind of thing you said about student voice, why do you think student voice is so important with bullying prevention?

>> Well, student voice, especially with bullying prevention, because students are the ones who are like on the ground. They experience the bullying and they know, like, what's actually going on. So, I think a lot of times students come at it from a really unique perspective. They're also the ones who are a lot of times most affected by the bullying itself, so students a lot of times have unique perspectives. They can have different ways to solve problems that adults might not always think of. And, they can always provide like input as to what will actually work and what might not.

>> So, as you're mentioning how important student voice is, for any adults watching, what would you tell them about really taking in and listening to student voice?

>> Well, I'd say that it's important even like when adults might think they know how to prevent bullying, students can be a valuable part of the conversation, because students a lot of times know what's actually going to work and students have seen bullying prevention efforts and they see bullying happening. And, students I think are aware of what is going to work with bullying prevention. Students can often like propose ideas that make existing attempts to prevent bullying better.

>> So, as a student yourself who has really used their voice and made a huge impact, what advice would you give to any students watching that want to get involved and use their voice around one of these issues?

>> One of the key advice pieces I give to students and really anyone who's trying to be involved with bullying prevention is to like connect with other people who are also involved with preventing bullying or trying to be involved, because that definitely can help you figure out ways that are effective to do it and like that can help with organizing.

>> Right. You can have like a group rally behind you and you can all work together for this common cause.

>> It definitely helps to have a lot of people working toward the same goal with bullying prevention.

>> And, what would you say to students that maybe want to take a step but they feel like it's small and it won't really make a difference?

>> Well, I'd say especially with bullying prevention, because any step makes a difference when you're trying to prevent bullying because in the end, it's all about making sure that everyone feels welcome and if you're doing that, anything that helps to do that, no matter how small, is going to help.

>> All the little steps make a giant leap.

>> Definitely.

>> So, before we wrap this video up, is there anything else you want to share with our audience?

>> I just want the audience to know that there's a role for everyone in trying to prevent bullying and everyone has a part to play. Even if you're not a student or if you don't think you experience or see bullying and you don't really know how, everyone has a role to play, be it spreading awareness or helping with to affect change on a community level or even just being friends with people who are bullied.

>> I think that's an amazing note to end on, that we all have a role to play in bullying prevention. Thank you so much, Jake, for being our amazing guest in this episode of PACERTalks About Bullying. That's all that we have for you this week, but we'll see you right back here next week. And, remember, together we can all help create a world without bullying. See ya.