Last month, I learned about Bully Bust 2009 and posted about it at my blog immediately. This month, it's the featured outreach program in the June 2009 issue of readergirlz.
Bully Bust 2009 is a "community-led concerted effort to reduce bullying in schools" sponsored by the Center for Social and Emotional Education and Boy Meets Girl. Bully Bust encourages people to speak up when they see bullying happening in their schools, in their neighborhoods, or online.
We have a very special giveaway connected to Bully Bust - but before I tell you about that, I want you to really consider what bullying does to a person, how often it happens, and what you can do to help stop it.
Turn the Statistics Around!
CSEE offered the following facts, then added, "Make a difference to turn the statistics around."
* Schools are the 3rd most common location for hate crimes.
* Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT youth reported being verbally harassed at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
* For every 25 middle school kids, an average of 2 kids are harassed daily.
* 1 in 4 students say they are unsure of their safety at school.
* When there is a school-wide commitment to end bullying, it can be reduced by up to 50%.
* Suicide remains among the leading causes of death of children under 14.
Take the STAND UP Pledge
Support those around me who are being bullied or victimized
Tell a friend, teacher or parent when I see someone being bullied
Ask myself, "How would I want to be treated?"
Note where and when bullying occurs (bathroom, playground, online) and
Do something when I see someone being bullied – be an UPSTANDER
Understand why bullies bully
Practice being a good role model for my fellow students and share "STAND UP to bullies" strategies
Visit BullyBust.org today to sign the STANDUP pledge, consult valuable resources, and discover the 10 ways to be an upstander. You may also join Bully Bust on Facebook.
Bully Bust sent readergirlz a STAND UP T-shirt designed by Stacy Morgenstern Igel, the founder of the clothing line Boy Meets Girl. This limited edition shirt is made out of 100% organic cotton. (Woo hoo!) It is a white T-shirt, size medium.
Want to win the shirt? Leave a comment below with your email address. That's it! One lucky winner will be selected at random and get the shirt for free.
Update: The contest is now closed. Congratulations, Charley! Thanks to everyone who entered.
You can see the shirt in this video featuring teen actress Sammi Hanratty, the spokesperson for Bully Bust.
Books About Bullying
Looking for a book about bullying, gossiping, or peer pressure to discuss in class or in a book group? Try one of these titles:
Suitable for high school:
Looks by Madeleine George
Read My Lips by Teri Brown
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
Walking Naked by Alyssa Brugman
Shattering Glass by Gail Giles
Breaking Point by Alex Flinn
Crimes of the Sarahs by Kristen Tracy (quirky and comedic)
Good Girls by Laura Ruby (content for older teens)
Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr (content for older teens)
Suitable for middle school or upper elementary school:
The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss
Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee
- and this is just the tip of the iceberg. For more books about bullying, peer pressure, and other such topics, consult my Tough Issues for Teens booklist.
Share the Love
Send the Bully Bust link to your friends and family members and encourage them to sign the STAND UP pledge. If you're a teacher or a librarian, I hope you'll tell your students and patrons about it, too.