Bullying prevention starts with teens, and in communities around the country they are taking the lead as anti-bullying leaders, advocates, and mentors for their peers. It is an inspiring trend at a time when several high-profile teen suicides have been linked to bullying.
Danny Moloshok / Reuters
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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