How can youth influence bullying prevention?

By Rachael Foster, AmeriCorps Member and Blogger of the Week!

In February, I attended the Memorial Community Plunge in South Bend. This event focused on the challenges and strategies of taking on the modern neighborhood bully. A victim used to only worry about being bullied at school.

As a result of technology, bullies can follow them home and harass 24 hours a day. The consequences can be deadly. Young teenagers across our local, state, national, and global community have taken their own lives as a result of cyberbullying.

I was inspired to see Memorial Hospital bring together the community and address online bullying. I learned about innovative plans to set up help lines in schools and educational information for the community. Another medium to help educate students is the Take Ten comic book. I had the opportunity to be the Project Coordinator for “The Take Ten Crew vs. The Cyberbully.” The students who created the comic book were dedicated to bring awareness about cyberbullying and expressed their talent through the medium of art and storytelling.

Take Ten chose a youth-developed comic book to assist in creating a common language to deal with conflict non-violently. The book helps students and volunteers reinforce lessons, definitions, morals and skills learned in the program. We hope that this tool will allow students to learn methods of dealing with conflict in a positive way rather than opting for violent solutions.

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