Meet 14 year old, Eduardo Solis from California: 

Eduardo, @EndBullyingNow

My name is Eduardo. I am 14 years old. & this is my story.  I’m good at faking a smile & pretending that I’m ok.  I was 8 years old when it started.  At first it wasn’t that hurtful. They just called me “Four eyes” & stuff.  Once 3rd grade year finished, my family & I moved to Houston, Texas.  It was really amazing!  But school wasn’t.  I was the new kid who didn’t have any friends.  I really didn’t have anyone to talk to during lunch.  One day, a teacher called me a “chicken” for not wanting to participate in singing.  That teacher didn’t know is that I was shy.  REALLY shy.  After she called me “chicken” some girl started calling me the same name.  Then after one month living in Texas, my parents decided to move back to California. Again, a new school.  But this new school was WAY better than the other two schools.  I really didn’t get bullied in this school. 2 years went by where I didn’t get bullied.  But then middle school came along.  6th grade was the worse year EVER.  Everyday I was bullied by this kid.  Whenever he saw me, he kicked me, tried to trip me, pushed me, & called me names.  I remember when my English teacher changed the sitting arrangement & she sat me in the worse sit ever. I was sitting in front of my bully. When the teacher wasn’t looking, he would kick me.  That is how cowardly he was.  I was afraid to tell any teacher because I thought it would only get worse.  I stayed strong that entire year.  Once 6th grade ended, 7th grade came along.  At first, I thought it was going to be an awesome year because I had new classmates!  But I was wrong.  One day, a guy called me a horrible name (I’m not going to say the name they called me.).  Then his 2 other friends started calling me that same name.

In the past, I would go home where I could just be happier than at school, not until my parents started to fight a lot.  Then came that day, when my mom found out my dad was cheating.  My dad then left the house, but still visited & stuff.  I always thought “Why does this happen to me?  Why coudn’t happen to someone else?” I just couldn’t take it anymore & one day I was in my room.  I was thinking a lot.  I cried & I just felt that if I died no one would care.  I told my parents about this & they helped me.  I was 12 years old when this happened.

After that day, I decided that it was time to stand up for myself.  I wrote a letter to my teacher that I trusted the most. I wrote her a letter because I was going to cry in front of her & I just didn’t want that.  So, in the letter I told her what was going on.  I gave her the letter in the morning, then in the afternoon she talked to the bully.  I remember her saying to the bully “How DARE you tell him that?”  After that day, I never got bullied in the 7th grade.  I was so grateful that I had her as a teacher.  She was truly an amazing teacher.

During summer vacation, I did something that I will NEVER regret.  I created this account on September 2, 2011. When summer vacation ended, I went back to school.  It was my 8th grade year.  My last year of middle school.  This year was really bad for me.  I was having bad grades, some girl told me that I created fake accounts on twitter to follow myself, & my parents were still fighting.  Then one day, I just had a horrible day at school & after school I was determined to cut myself.  I just wanted to have friends & someone to talk to.  While I was walking to my house (determined to self harm) I heard the most amazing song called “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato.  When I heard this song for the first time, I cried because It was something that I could relate to.  Hearing this song made & still makes me feel good about myself.  It gives me hope.  I always imagine singing this song to my bullies.  One day, a kid from school posted on my Facebook wall saying “I hate you” ,”Go get friends.”  Then at the end he told me, “I’m just bored. That’s why I’m doing this.”  What he doesn’t know is that those word hurt.  

During those dark days, I just wanted someone to be there for me.  Someone I could talk to.  Because of my bullies, I felt insecure about myself.  Sometimes I still feel insecure.  But now, I realize that their words shouldn’t mean anything to me & that the bad things that have happened to me have only made me stronger.  I have stayed strong for a long time & I keep staying strong.   I know that the bad things that have happened to me, are the things that made me stronger.  On June 15, 2012 I graduated from middle school.  Then, in August I’m entering high school!  I am nervous to enter high school.  I hope I meet good people & I don’t have bullies in my life.  Anyways, I am sharing my story because if there’s anyone that is struggling with the issues that I went through, to let them know that they are NOT alone.  Suicide & self harming are not the answers to your problems!  Please Stay Strong<3 & know that it WILL get better! One day. I just want to thank Demi Lovato, Ellen Degeneres, Kelly Clarkson, Shane Dawson, Bree Essrig, & my followers for helping me & making me smile!

Follow Eduardo’s AMAZING Twitter account @EndBullyinNow

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 Brittany is a St. Louis, Missouri high school freshman.  Outside of her life as a normal teenagers, she also runs the extremely popular Twitter account, @StayStrongItsOk, with nearly 14,500 followers.  Using Twitter, Brittany works really hard to raise awareness about self-harm, mental health issues, and bullying.  I have been following Brittany’s account for awhile and am consistently blown away by her efforts to connect with each and every one of her followers by providing constant support and encouragement.  Posting words of encouragement and inspirational photos and sayings, she is a wonderful role model for her followers.

Read what Brittany sent exclusively to MyKindnessCounts.com about what has inspired her to do the work she does.  To learn more about Brittany and how her experiences have shaped the work she is now doing, go to her blog here.

I’m Brittany, some of you may know me as @StayStrongItsOk on twitter. Either way, I’m just like you. I go through some of the same things as you. One of those things is bullying. I’ve had my fair share of experience with it, believe me. I am currently writing my full story, and I am going to share it, once it is completed. But until then, I wanted to share one experience with you all: When I was in 6th grade, (not limited to just 6th grade), I was called really mean names, told I was ugly, and even got threatened. This was being done by both girls and boys. I didn’t understand what I had done to deserve this. It continued happening. School principals and other adults wouldn’t help me. They’d ask the kids doing it, about it, and of course they denied it. Eventually the adults started to see that this was really happening to me and tried putting a stop to it. Long story short, It was a really bad time in my life. But now, I refuse to let them keep me silent. I will stand up for myself, and what I believe in, even if it means standing alone. I am going to do whatever I can to stop bullying and help people cope with it. I have the twitter account @staystrongitsok, and there I do just that. Like I said before, I am currently writing my story, so stay in touch to know why I do the things I do. And most of all, stay strong. – Brittany

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Mikayla says, Be Yourself

October 31st, 2012 | Posted by Jessica in Thoughts | Your Voices - (0 Comments)

Meet Mikayla, a 16 year old high school student from Virginia who runs the very popular and helpful Twitter account, @BeYourself_x0.  Thanks SO much for sharing your story, Mikayla! :)

I’ve been bullied my whole life, but it didnt get bad until 9th grade. I was going through alot of stress that year, and I gained alot of weight during the summer. So when I got to school I was a lot bigger then most of the girls. I got bullied constantly about my weight. Girls were always calling me fat & talking about how huge my hips were. & then they got their friends to join in & I honestly felt like everyone was against me. The girls never really did lay off of me, but towards the middle of the school year, I had a few guys start bullying me for it. & They bullied me worse then the girls did. I’d have guys come up behind me when I was walking and make stomping noises, & call me names as I walked. I actually had a few people wait for me to get off the bus just so they could start on me as soon as I got to school. The bullying got so severe that I had to be pulled out of school & be homeschooled. I still am to this day. I never had the nerve to go back to school, just because I was so scared. & I still am. I never wanna re-live my 9th grade year, EVER again. Sometimes I still think about what they said, & think its true. But I’ve come to realize im ALOT better then them. :] and because of that story, I made my Stop Bullying twitter to try to help victims of bullying. So far I’ve stopped 6 girls from hurting themselves & had a few get help for their depression, anxiety, eating disorder, etc.

Ever since I made the Twitter, I’ve felt alot better about myself. What I want to tell everyone is to stay strong, because it really DOES get better. :] www.twitter.com/BeYourself_x0

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I’d like to share Erika’s story with you all. Erika, a 19 year old from Texas, is currently studying psychology and just completed her first year of college (yay, Congrats!!). Erika runs the twitter account @DreamSmileLive with the intention of providing support to individuals who are feeling overwhelmed, down, bullied, etc. She has over 800 followers and has contributed almost 11,000 tweets of support. Erika was awesome enough to send me an email about her background and why it is so important to her to provide a helping hand to others.

 

I started to get bullied from a very young age. I used to be called horrible names and sometimes people would throw things at me. I also had to deal with people I knew doing drugs and being involved in gang activities. I always had to watch my back no matter where I went. I didn’t feel save at school or my home. There were a lot of people always with me but I always felt alone. I didn’t know who to trust anymore or if my life was even worth fighting for. The bullying from classmates and friends got so bad that I did try to commit suicide once but didn’t go through with it because my angel, my little brother, showed me that kindness and innocence still does exist and that I shouldn’t give up. About a year ago I created a Twitter account called @DreamSmileLive to help others who feel alone and don’t know how to keep going. When I was going through my tough times I always used to tell myself Dream, Smile, Live. Now I want to help others who are going through tough times. I want them to know that no matter what they are going through they can keep strong and it will get better. That is why I shared my story with them which I wrote in a Twitlonger. I am in the process of creating a website to provide information and stories for those who don’t know how to handle the problems they are faced with. I suffered a lot but in the end it made me stronger.

Click below to read more about Erika’s story and a bit from her Twitlonger page!

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Speak Now

May 8th, 2012 | Posted by Jessica in Your Voices - (0 Comments)

Do you all use Twitter? I love Twitter! :)

I tweet from both my personal account (@jessasimmons) and the My Kindness Counts (@kindness_counts) one. I use it as a tool to read the news, connect with friends, see what other organizations from around the world are up to, etc. It’s also a great networking tool to talk to people about their thoughts on bullying and harrassment and to share the stories you guys send me. :) While many of us use it for good, I have noticed a ton of accounts that tweet really mean things about people they either know or don’t know or about various things going on in their lives. Interestingly, I received an email from a reader on this very issue and they asked that I share it with all of you.

Speak Now

Bullying is a huge problem in schools of all levels. Bullying, however, does not happen just in a school, but also through the internet. Having prior experiences with bullying in my past, I am very passionate as an adult to advocate as much as I can for anti-bullying. Recently, I came across two Twitter accounts that personally attacked students at a high school. The tweets on this page made fun of individual students from their appearance to clothing. I was appalled that student’s were running accounts anonymously like this online and nothing was being done to put an end to it. To take action and speak up for these individuals who were being cyber bullied, I sent an email to the principal of the school to make her aware of this account. Immediately I got a response back thanking me for the information and the accounts were deleted. I later found out that those individuals were found and disciplinary actions were taken. Bullying, whether it is online or in person, can have a huge impact on someone. If you see something, say something. If you are dealing with these issues yourself, tell someone. Your family and so many members of your school care about you. In the words of Taylor Swift, “If you know how you feel, and you so clearly know what you need to say, you’ll know it. I don’t think you should wait. I think you should speak now.”

How do you think this person handled the situation? I think they did the right thing because by speaking up, the individuals targeted may have been saved from seeing the tweets. Additionally, by intervening, it may have stopped these hurtful tweets from circulating around the internet. Most importantly, by reporting this incident to the principal and the principal finding the individuals who were behind the accounts and implementing disciplinary actions, it creates the impression that a. the school is trying to do their part to stop the harassment and b. that kind of behavior isn’t tolerated. While the principal being aware of the situation doesn’t erase what was said off the internet,  it does make  everyone aware that there are people who care about them and a positive school climate.

PS. Please, please remember that nothing is truly anonymous online. While you or a friend may think that if a name isn’t attached to an account, no one can find the culprit, that is NOT true. IP addresses and login information count and will trace back to you! Don’t get caught up with something that you aren’t ready to face the consequences for!

Sidenote: VERY interesting article related to this issue via USA Today: Library of Congress to Store Tweets Based on Twitter Deal

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Happy Saturday, everyone! Today’s post is featuring Lexie, an 18 year old girl from Pennsylvania. Lexie is the founder of “The Official Fight Against Bullying”/(FAB) and also runs a Twitter account, @UsBullyFighters. Inspired by her own experiences being bullying, Lexie is dedicated to putting an end to bullying and helping people dealing with it.  After following Lexie on Twitter, I visited her website (http://www.theofficialfightagainstbullying.com/) and could not have been more impressed by her passion, effort, and dedication to this cause. Through our emails back and forth, I asked for her thoughts on the bullying that’s going on in our communities and problems with some of the anti-bullying efforts. This is what she had to say: “I think that bullying programs currently are not effective enough because nothing is happening to change the constitution or enact an official bullying law/act. I like them because they spread the word but I think that WE have to be chasing the citizens at this point, not having the citizens come search for us. We need to reach out.”

Lexie made this video to be shared with all of you. Please take a few minutes to watch it & listen to her speak on what has inspired her throughout this journey and what her future goals are with The Official Fight Against Bullying.

 

 

I encourage you to leave Lexie a comment below with your thoughts on what she has been through and/or what she is doing now to combat bullying.

Please check out Lexie’s website here and her Twitter account here! :D

 

 

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“I Do a Great Job”

February 28th, 2012 | Posted by Jessica in Thoughts | Your Voices - (1 Comments)

Happy Tuesday!

I received this email from a girl named Isa last week. Isa is a teenager from Germany who runs an anti bullying Twitter account with a few people she met online (check it out here: @TogetherVSBullying). Her email was short and sweet, but what stuck with me the most was that Isa was able to clearly acknowledge all the good she’s doing to help others with her anti bullying account. Believe it or not, keeping a positive frame of mind and telling herself that she’s doing a great job will definitely help Isa as she continues to focus on being strong.  Everyone and anyone can feel ignored (I still remember feeling that way at times in high school), but I think Isa should know that she’s shining in a BIG way by helping others who are doing through similar things.

Please support Isa by going to her anti bullying Twitter account @TogetherVSBullying.

Hey Jessica, I am a 16 year old school student from Germany that has a lot of experience with bullying and rents an anti bullying account on twitter, @TogetherVSBullying, you might know it.

I rent it with longolisa, ohmyswagger and tyqahbulzay.
I was bullied from 6 till 8 grade and now people ignore me. I am in therapy because of it and i try to focus and to stay strong. I have amazing support from my friends and from my online friends and I do a great job by renting this anti bullying account.
I hope you can mention us and support us,it would mean the world too me ;)
Please tweet us and help us to fight against bullying :D

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Hello! Ok well …

My story: I am now 13 I’ve been bullied since about 5 years ago and I still am being bullied! They call me names such as “6 foot” because I’m tall and “Apple” bc my last name is Appel. They also call me lumberjack or big foot. They torment me every day on the bus at school any chance they get! I started to look down on myself a ton and still do sometimes!

Lesson I learned: I learned to always be myself! To not let others define me! I can be me and be proud now, yes, but I still have those days where I hate myself because of the bullies but I’ve learned to overcome that! Demi Lovato inspired me to stay strong and be me!

My thoughts on current anti-bullying programs: I think that many school programs do not necessarily work because many adult or teachers do not see how seriously bullying effects us. Many teachers or adults have not been bullied themselves so they do not know how much it is effecting us kids and teens , and they do not understand the effects it has on us. Also, they do not put as much attention towards these issues as they need to because they do not see the seriousness of the problems. So, the bullying keeps going on and getting worse.

My thoughts of cyber bullying: Yes, cyber bullying is a huge problem along with person to person bullying. It affects kids and teens just as much. I, personally, think that both happen too much and are a HUGE problems. They both effect kids and teens mental, emotional, and physical lives.

Why I want to help: I want to help because I know how it feels to go through this pain everyday and how lonely you feel… I don’t want others to have to feel the same! I want them to know I’m here for them!

How I try to help: I try to help by making two Twitters against bullying to raise awareness (@HlpPreventBully and @PutAnEnd2Bully) I also made a website where people can post their story and not get judged. I have disabled commenting so that nobody can judge them. They can also find ways to help prevent bullying new bullying stories and photos ( the website is http://togetherwestandtostopbullying.webs.com ) I am also in a club called SADD in my school it stands for Students Against Destructive Decisions and we do many bully awareness games, fundraisers, etc in my school.

I want to help let others know they are not alone! That people like us are always here for them of they need to talk! I believe that together we can end bullying eventually!

Stay strong stand tall and keep your head held high,

Meghan

Please visit Meghan’s website and Twitter accounts if you’re struggling with being bullied or would like to reach out and help others. Thanks for doing all that you do, Meghan. The world is VERY lucky to have a girl like you around! :)

 

Click here to learn more about the organization Meghan is in called SADD- you may already have a chapter in your school!

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