The Stop Bullying Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness about bullying and looking for ways to stop bullying through education and art. Our intention is to bring an anti-bullying program into schools to change the bullying dynamic that goes on in communities everywhere. We are happy to work with other foundations and organizations with similar goals, because the bigger the anti-bullying movement is, the sooner our society will stand up and no longer tolerate bullying.
Bullying is a health and safety issue that affects more than 13 million children every year. There is already a movement in society to stop bullying in our schools and online. We can no longer explain away this hurtful behavior by saying “kids will be kids.”
Last year, U.S. Congressman Mike Honda pulled together a bi-partisan caucus to try to pass Federal anti- bullying legislation. From his website:
“In 2012, at least thirteen million children will be teased, taunted, and physically assaulted by their peers, making bullying the most common form of violence our nation’s youth experience this year. Every day, as children miss school due to fear of physical and psychological attacks on the basis of their skin color, ethnicity, physical or mental abilities, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, and religion, is a call to action to put aside partisanship and join hands to combat the cultural phenomenon of bullying… As an educator of more than 30 years and a member of Congress who was bullied as a child, Congressman Honda understands the commitment, responsibility and connection we have to our communities. This caucus provides a support for the larger anti-bullying and anti-discrimination conversation we are having as a nation.”
What can we do to help each other do more and be more effective?
In recent years, a group of anti-bullying organizations have sprung up to find ways to shine light onto this damaging behavior, and help the victims of aggression. Bullies have gotten away with hurting others for years, with very little acknowledgement of this problem until recently. The Stop Bullying Foundation, along with many great organizations across the United States, is standing up to stop bullying.
We recently co-produced an anti-bullying film titled “Charity.” It is a short drama about a teenage girl, Katherine, who is being terribly bullied by her “friend.” To escape the hurt she feels, Katherine starts a charity that she can focus on instead of being emotionally abused by the mean girl. When the charity becomes successful, the bully intensifies her attack and does the unthinkable. Faced with fear and uncertainty, will Katherine learn to stand up to the aggression and rise above it?
We intend to show “Charity” in school assemblies as an opening for discussion, and ask the teenagers what they would do if they were being bullied and threatened. Did our lead character do the right thing? What should the parents of the bully have done? What should the school have done?
“Charity” has already attracted the support of the Puffin Foundation, and many private donors. Please donate whatever you can to the final stages of the production of this important film, written and directed by a young filmmaker who experienced bullying firsthand. We are still fundraising and we need your support. Go here to learn more.
- Get active and volunteer with an anti-bullying group in your area.
- Donate time and/or money to organizations who are dedicated to help a kid who is suffering.
- Be an “upstander,” not a bystander. Don’t let a bully get away with hurting someone. If you see something happening, go and stand with the victim. He or she will be grateful for the rest of their lives.
- Have an anti-bullying club in your school.
- Take time to talk to someone who is quiet or shy.
- Tell a bully what they’re doing is not okay. Being mean is not cool.