Hello,

I would love to be part of this whole website just because I want to inspire kids to stop bullying. I’ve been bullied before and I might know how those of you who are getting bullied feel… Its the worst feeling ever, you feel like you just don’t belong. I was bullied in grade four! Just because I didn’t know how to speak english, I just had moved from Portugal to Canada… I only had 3 friends, but those 3 friends were loyal! They tried to talk me into telling a teacher, but I kept saying no because I thought I would get hit by the bully. I thought I’d be beaten up after school… But one day I got fed up and told a teacher who then went to talk to the principal. My friends saved my life because at one point I was already cutting my wrists… I didn’t feel the pain. But getting bullied made me a stronger person!! It is estimated that over 160,000 children miss school everyday because they fear of getting bullied. Bullying occurs in school playgrounds every 7 minutes and once every 25 minutes in class. Thats way to many cases!! Bullying needs to be stopped now. There are kids becoming suicidal just because they don’t feel in, they don’t feel welcome to the group… They feel like they shouldn’t even be here. Kids who are getting bullied also turn to cutting themselves, that is NOT healthy at all!!
As for anti-bullying programs, the programs at schools don’t really help. I mean, they have one presentation a year and thats it. The schools need more presentations about bullying… The presentations now a days just aren’t really affective. If you know anyone who is getting bullied, help them out. You can always take a few minutes to talk to them, make friends with them, make them feel welcome. Talk them into talking to a teacher at school or if its not happening at school, then talk them into talking to his/her parents!!! I made my video to show that you might not really know someone… You might know their name, or simply how old they are or what school they go to, but its certain that you don’t know their stories! Stop bullying now!! Please.

-Jenniferdemusic / @JenniferDeMusic

Jennifer is a 15 year old girl from Toronto, Canada. She has made that YouTube video to help other kids who have been victims of bullying. Jennifer gives GREAT advice to both kids who are being bullied and to kids who are bystanders– if you see someone being bullied, please help them out. Tell the bully to knock it off or take the initiative and tell a teacher or another adult (even anonymously if you have to). If you’re afraid to do it yourself, get a bunch of friends to do go tell a teacher with you. Believe it or not, you could save a life by just using your voice to stick up for others.

Please check out her amazing YouTube channel here and you can follow her on Twitter here :)  Thanks, Jennifer!!

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Hello!
My name is Ashley Alanna Rothschild. I am a 20 year old student who wants to make a difference in the world by sharing my story with you.
All throughout my childhood, all I can remember is the times I came home crying, or the days I pretended to be sick so I would not have to go to school. Throughout Kindergarden to Eighth Grade, I was made fun of almost every single day. I was different then most others, I had a learning disability. All this meant was that I could not learn as fast as others and I had to work twice as hard to get a good grade. I didn’t mind being a little different until my peers starting calling me “stupid, retarded, mentally challenged, an idiot, ugly”.. I have heard most names in the book. Each day I started to hate myself more and more. One year I even cut off about 12 inches of my long hair and turned it in for a chin length hair cut to bring attention to anything else but my disability. I also was made fun of because unlike most of the girls, I didn’t wear any makeup or care about doing my hair perfectly each day, I cared more about enjoying life then being a barbie doll. I liked the idea of being all natural and not trying to impress anyone. Finally, one day in Seventh grade after years of being bullied, I came home crying to my parents. I couldn’t take the hurt anymore so I told them what had been going on in school and about one of the main girls who had been doing most of the bullying. My parents decided to call the girls parents to fill them in on what their daughter had been doing behind their backs. The following next couple days in school, I was extremely nervous because I did not know how this situation was going to go when I saw the girl and her clique of friends. It actually turned out for the best, and most of the bullying stopped after that.
As I got older I realized, its okay to be different. It took me years to admit to people I have a learning disability. Now, I am probably one of the most insecure people you could meet from being bullied in my past, BUT it also taught me that I can rise against it, and TAKE A STAND about it. No one deserves to be bullied in any shape or any form. The main reason why I am doing Miss Long Island is to overcome my insecurities and spread awareness about Bullying. I know that if i believe in myself I can overcome anything in life. I am lucky to have the loving support of my friends and family to help me overcome all the obstacles I face along the way, but in the end it is all worth it because I know I will be helping in the movement to make a Difference. I will not pretend to be to be someone I’m not. My name is Ashley Alanna Rothschild, I have a learning disability, I have been bullied, and I will not be afraid to rise above it all and show the world you can do anything you put your mind to.
If you are being bullied and are afraid to speak up, don’t be. There are more people then you think who have been in your shoes. You are not alone!

Love always,
Ashley Alanna Rothschild

Thank you SO much for sharing your story, Ashley!  So many kids with learning disabilities are bullied on a daily basis and are called names just like the ones you mentioned. While some kids think these names are justified because they’re “just kidding,” name calling is never okay, even when the person being called the names laughs along.

Thanks for all you’re doing to raise awareness for bullying, Ashley. Best of luck in Miss Long Island this summer!! :)

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My name is Beth, I’m 17 years old, and I’m from the UK.

Here is my story:

I was bullied for about 6 years. I was called a lot of different names like fat, ugly, slag, etc. I was pushed around, tripped over, people threw things at me, spread rumours about me and a lot more. I’d sit in lesson being very quiet because I was scared to answer questions, for if I got the answer wrong, the kids would laugh at me, and this didn’t happen to anyone else. I’d spend my break times on my own in the library because I knew they wouldn’t go in there. I didn’t eat dinner at school because I was scared to go into the canteen (cafeteria). I was called fat and wanted to lose weight. One time they even told me it would be good if I died.

I told teachers at school and some tried to help me, but others didn’t really seem to care. The teachers that tried to help me couldn’t really do anything, I was being bullied by so many different people. The teachers spoke to 2 of the bullies but there was many more than 2! Even after teachers spoke to these people, they didn’t stop. I also told my friends, but they didn’t really want to help me because they were scared of being bullied too. I had a lot of time off school because of the bullying and my attendance was terrible. Teachers were worried about my grades and how much time I was having off from school, but they didn’t realise why I didn’t want to go to school. I was scared, scared of having to deal with these horrible people every single day! I did my exams and then finished school. I later went back to school to study further, but only did 1 year instead of 2. I left again because of the bullying.

I’ve had depression and anxiety for a long time now because of the bullying, and at one point,  I started self harming.  While I went through a lot of it on my own,  the school counsellor helped me. The school counsellor then referred me to a therapist and the therapist helped me.  Other than that there wasn’t much else to help me through this, which is why there needs to be a lot more done to help other people like me.

In my opinion, I think schools need to stick to their anti bullying policies. Some schools do, but not all of them. They have the rule in place for a reason so they need to stick to it. I think schools need to talk about the topic of ‘bullying’ a lot more so that children and young people are more comfortable talking about it, and this would also help them know what bullying is exactly because some people don’t really know. Some people get bullied, but they don’t know they are being bullied. In the UK there is a charity called ‘Red Balloon’ . ‘Red Balloon’ is an organisation for the recovery of bullied children who are too afraid to go to school. They help the children get back into education or training, but sadly they are only for people up to the age of 16. I would love there to one day be something like ‘Red Balloon’ for people older. I think it would help a lot of people. I also think every school should have some students who at every break time meet somewhere for other students to go to them and talk to them. Like for students who have not got many friends or the students who are worrying about some problems, etc.

Even though I went through all of this, I created this blog http://underneathmymask.wordpress.com/ to help others and show them that they are never alone. I still struggle with the bullying and my mental health, but this won’t stop me helping others. I really want to help people who are struggling with this. I don’t care how many people, even if I just help 1 person, I will be happy with that. I would even love to one day set up my own charity!

Together we can stop bullying.
Check out my blog and follow me on twitter @Hidden_Beth
Thank you, stay strong.

Beth x

Beth brings up so many great suggestions for other anti-bullying projects.  I LOVE the idea of a school buddy system that would pair kids up so that they would have someone to talk to during those breaks in the hallway or for a school lunch. Knowing you would be meeting up with someone to hang out or just talk would alleviate so much anxiety.   What do you think of Beth’s anti-bullying plan? Does your school have something like a buddy system?

As Beth say’s on her blog, “Things will get better, they just take time.”

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Karrie, a mother of a young girl named Elise, and I connected over Twitter. Karrie was actually one of the very first people to help promote the Twitter, Facebook, and website for MyKindnessCounts. Karrie has encouraged and inspired me through her encouraging tweets, kind words, and her courageous battle against bullying for her daughter. With all that she and her daughter have been through, I thought her story might really resonate with other parents who are going through a similar situation with their own children. Thankfully, Karrie and Elise agreed to share there story with us. Before you read her story below, please watch the clip of Karrie and Elise being feature on a local news station:

In November of 2010, my daughter Elise started a long journey no child should ever have to take. It all started on the bus when a few older kids began teasing her. The teasing then led to one of the boys punching my daughter in the face, giving her a black eye. While we are still not sure why this happened, one theory is that this boy liked my daughter and was upset when she didn’t like him back.

Over the course of the next five months, Elise continued to be tormented on the bus. She was tripped, kicked, punched and shoved, and for each incident, I called the school to report what had happened. I was told by the school that these kids would have to sit in the front of the bus and if they tormented my daughter again, they would be kicked off the bus. This promise was not kept. Later in the school year, Elise’s chin was split open from being hit with a seat belt. The school nurse reported this incident to be an accident and told my daughter it was an accident as well. My daughter, terrified by what had happened, just went along with what the adult told her. Elise never rode the bus again that year and nothing was ever done to address the bullying behavior my daughter experienced.

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