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Go Purple For Spirit Day And Take A Stand Against Bullying

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(Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)

(Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)

Wear purple today to show your support for Spirit Day, a day set aside during National Bullying Prevention Month to draw awareness to youth who are tormented by their peers.

We had Shea Shawhan and her mom in our studio to talk about the bullying Shea faces every day at her school.

Julie was a part of a group in her 6th grade class that picked on another girl at school. Out of boredom and jealousy, they bullied this girl. It wasn’t until someone spoke up and said how wrong it was to pick on the girl. Julie says, “We are all capable of being the bully. We are all capable of being bullied.”

John had a great phrase to remember when you or your children come across bullying. He says, “Stand up, don’t stand by.”

Tolerance.org has some great tips to help you and your children take a stand against bullying:

If you are being bullied…

  • Reach Out. Tell an adult, be it your parents, a teacher, a principal, or guidance counselor. Get your friends to help you as there is “safety in numbers.” Rehearse what you’ll say the next time someone bullies you.
  • Stay Calm In The Moment. Be cool and confident when you’re confronted by a bully. Don’t give them the satisfaction of a reaction. Simply ignore them and walk away from the situation. Don’t fight back as it often makes things worse.
  • Be The Change. Gandhi is credited with saying, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” The change starts with you. You can work with others to start an anti-bullying group in your school. Get teachers and administrators involved to support the cause.

If you witness bullying…

  • “Stand Up, Don’t Stand By.” Use Producer John’s words to get in the middle of the bullying and disrupt it. Stand up for your schoolmate and ask the bully to stop.
  • Get Help. Sometimes just getting in the middle won’t stop a bully. Go find an adult who can intervene and stop the situation.

If you are the bully…

  • Commit To Change. At some point, you’ll realize that bullying is wrong. Talk to an adult about how you can change and be kind. Ask a friend to keep you accountable to being kind to others. Apologize to those you have bullied.
  • Focus on Empathy and Responsibility. Put yourself in the shoes of those being bullied. How would you feel if the tables were turned? Think before you speak. Will the words you speak help or harm another student?
  • Be The Change. Like Gandhi’s words above, change starts with yourself. If your friends are bullies, don’t give in to their pressure to tease and torment another student. If you start bullying, stop and walk away. You don’t have to like everyone, but it is better to treat everyone with respect and kindness.
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