Pageant winner Mikaela Carson toured two states sharing her anti-bullying message and organization ABLE — Anti Bullying Lifelines and Education — to help students deal with school bullies and to inspire bullies to change.
Bernard Thomas, The Herald-Sun/AP
Bullies are most-often thought of in a physical sense, a person who pushes others around and uses his or her size advantage to strike fear into others.
That kind of bullying continues today, and is joined by more subtle siblings that victimize many, and often without knowledge of those in positions to stop it.
Miss Northeast Counties Mikaela Carson knows this first hand. The Overland Park, Kan., resident said she was on the receiving end of social bullying throughout school. Good family support, she said, helped her through it, but when a family friend committed suicide as a result of bullying, she began to understand how widespread and deep the problem was.
"I realized how many people go through these things day, after day, after day," she said.
Carson participated March 17 in the Kirksville, Mo., St. Patrick's Day Parade and distributed material on ABLE — or Anti-Bullying Lifelines and Education — a grassroots effort she established to bring attention to bullying in its various forms and empower people to stop those behaviors.