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Bullying: Teens take the lead as anti-bullying mentors, advocates

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Danny Moloshok / Reuters

(Read caption) A guest wears an anti-bullying button, which is the logo of the documentary film "Bully" at its Los Angeles premiere in Hollywood. Teens across the country are taking the lead, and becoming anti-bullying leaders, advocates and mentors for their peers.

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Probably any number of things could inspire a student to become an activist, but in 16-year-old Ali’s case, it was “an English homework assignment about marginalized groups in society,” The Gazette, in Lisbon, Iowa, reported. “She realized they needed a voice,” apparently thought about how kids can get marginalized in bullying types of situations, and e-mailed Lisbon Community Schools’ dean of students, Terese Jurgensen with an idea for a bullying prevention program. Apparently Ms. Jurgensen was impressed with the thoughtfulness of Ali’s message and offered her support.

“A gathering of a few student council representatives led to the initiative for ‘The Voice’,” a program that has high school student council members both teaching and supporting elementary students on an ongoing basis (the older students go to elementary classes two to three times a month and become their “hallway friends” in this K-12 school).

All 28 members of the volunteer council supported the idea, which was key to the program’s success.

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