October is National Bullying Prevention Month! This month, we’re promoting organizations who stand up to bullying. This guest blog is from our friends at No Bull Challenge, an organization dedicated to inspiring teens to enact social change via filmmaking and digital responsibility. Learn more about how YOU can stop bullying in their blog below.
I was always the observer. Throughout high school I observed the actions and reactions of people around me. I came to the conclusion that the world is a pretty nasty place. After standing by and watching friends and classmates get bullied for years, I decided that enough was enough. I was determined to make a change. And even though I only weighed about
110 pounds, my muscles were nonexistent, and I was the exact opposite of intimidating, I knew it was time to stand up to bullying.
I learned that there were several tactics that I could utilize in order to make a change without directly intervening in a fight or argument. And I actually found them to be more effective at times. I am no expert by any means, but from one student to another, what do you have to lose?
- Do not give the bully an audience.
Sometimes standing and watching someone being bullied can be just as haunting to the victim as whatever the bully is doing. Plus, the bully likes to have an audience. Don’t just stand by and watch someone be bullied. Step in or alert a teacher to the incident.
- Treat others how you want to be treated.
The Golden Rule. This is something that we have been taught since we were little, but seriously put yourself in another’s shoes. Giving the person words of encouragement can really go a long way. Even if it is awkward or cheesy, letting them know that someone cares is important. If you see someone sitting alone or having a bad day, try sitting with them or asking if everything is okay. If you are anything like me and have social anxiety, this can be hard. But take it from me, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can really pay off when you make a new friend.
- Tell someone.
Many of us are afraid to tell someone because we do not want to be labeled as a tattle-tale. But oftentimes if you go to a teacher or administrator, they will respect your wishes to remain anonymous. Some situations can be resolved on their own, but not always. So going to a trusted teacher, parent or adult is important.
- If someone is spreading negativity, try spreading positivity.
This is my favorite thing to do. I see negativity as fire and positivity as water. When I see drama on social media, if I were to respond negatively, it would just build the fire and make things worse. However, if I respond in a positive way, the water will make the fire go out.Here’s one of my proudest successes with this tactic. Someone at my high school made an anonymous Twitter and Instagram that was used to post pictures and tweets making fun of other students. So I decided to make an anonymous Twitter and Instagram that I used to post pictures and tweets giving students compliments. The person who was behind the negative social media accounts felt dumb when my positive posts were receiving more “Likes” and “Retweets” than their negative one. They quickly stopped their online harassment and I felt good about my positive approach.
- DO SOMETHING!
As young people, we’re passionate about so many things. Whether it’s body image, equal rights, kindness, bullying or violence prevention, we have the fire to change the world. The problem we often face is finding ways to effectively channel this creativity and passion. Luckily, I found a tool that I was able to utilize to create effective change in my community and it ended up leading to me making change all over the country. This tool was The Great American NO BULL Challenge.
The Great American NO BULL Challenge is a leadership and social activation organization. We use the power of filmmaking combined with social media to inspire change at the student level. Woah, I hope the word filmmaking didn’t scare you away.
When I was a senior in high school, I heard about the NO BULL Challenge and had never even touched a camera. I let my passion and creativity take hold, and decided to STAND UP to bullying in my school. The short film that I created took off and sparked a conversation in my high school about how we treat each other and what we can do about it. I even got on The Today show!
I’ve been involved with the NO BULL Challenge ever since, and have seen amazing content that young people, just like you and me, create. It’s truly inspiring to see dedicated people standing up for important issues, and now, it’s your turn!
Read more about this year’s challenge and how you can get involved at nobull.org.
Tyler Gregory is a National Spokesperson for The Great American NO BULL Challenge. As a national spokesperson for NO BULL, he has spoken to over 50,000 students in over 25 states about bullying, leadership and creating change. Tyler is a senior at Wright State University and will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership. You can reach Tyler at [email protected].