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October 8th is National Stop Bullying Day

Eighteen sixth grade students invite students across the globe to create an environment of respect, acceptance and inclusion in their schools.

Rolling Prairie – WEBWIRE

National Stop Bullying Day is the second Wednesday of every October as deemed by eighteen sixth grade students in 2009 from St. Stanislaus Kostka School in Michigan City, Indiana. They also deemed October to be National Stop Bullying Month, the second week of October to be National Stop Bullying Week and the third week of October as Bullying Bystanders Unite week. All as opportunities for students across the globe to create an environment of respect, acceptance and inclusion in their schools.

This group of students are the founding members of Hey U.G.L.Y.ís Stop Bullying Task Force which was designed because of a bullying situation in their school. The students wanted to eradicate the bullying and act as an example to other schools across the country.†

Hey U.G.L.Y., founded in 2002, is a nonprofit organization that empowers youth to be part of the solution to bullying, substance abuse and youth suicide. U.G.L.Y. is an acronym meaning Unique Gifted Lovable You and serves as a reminder to turn negative self-talk and situations into positives.

The Stop Bullying Task Force program helped the students uncover and deeply understand the dynamics and many layers of bullying. They also learned how to protect themselves, and others, from the lasting effects of bullying, while understanding how to curb their own personal bullying behaviors. It gave them the tools and courage to be part of the solution!

The main part of the program had them delve into the many aspects of bullying like ... Why do bullies bully? Who do bullies bully? What are the various ways bullies bully? How does being bullied make you feel? Would you forgive a bully? and more. They then interact in various peer-to-peer self-esteem and empathy-building exercises and skits. Once they complete the program they are given the honor of teaching what they learned to younger students in their school. They are also authorized to conduct school-wide art projects and assemblies to share their wisdom and advice through skits and essays. When there is a bullying situation at their school, the bullying parties not only have to see the principal but also a member of the Stop Bullying Task Force. Knowing you will be judged by your peers has been proven to be a deterrent.

In 2010 the program was turned into a workbook for students called Stop Bullying Handbook and into a curriculum for schools. It was the hopes of the founding task force that students at all schools across the world set up student run stop bullying task forces in October to help keep their schools safe. One facilitator reported her students being able to thwart two bullying situations within hours of completing the program, while another called it transformational.†


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