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National Bullying Prevention Month

Every day, 1 in 5 students¹ are fighting a battle — one that doesn’t necessarily involve fists but can happen in the classroom, on the bus, and even through a computer or phone. The battle they’re fighting is against bullying. This October, in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month, DreamWakers is proud to have joined forces with educators across the country to bring into the classroom speakers who can talk about the importance of being kind, compassionate, and understanding to our fellow humans.

It was Dr. Seuss who once said that we have three options when faced with hardship: “You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.” The most important thing we can do for students struggling with bullying is to help them understand that they are not defined by the remarks of others, by the numbers on a scale, or by the likes on their social media posts. Each individual is a unique, bright, interesting person and the only thing they are destined to become is the person that they decide to be.

Don’t take it from us. Read on for some of our favorite moments, stories, and pieces of advice from our 2019 National Bullying Prevention Month series:

Jamie Crane-Mauzy

Professional skier turned motivational speaker, talk show host, and documentarian, Jamie MoCrazy shared her story with the students of Ms. Dhana Wheeler’s 5th grade class in Christopher, IL. Because of an unfortunate twist of fate, a crash, and her gender, people were quick to dismiss her accomplishments and not see her strength and achievements:

“One of my proudest moments was at the X Games in 2013. I landed a double back flip, and it was the first time any woman in the world had competed a double flip in a slopestyle run. I was so happy to prove that girls can do doubles! After my crash, some people would say, ‘that just goes to show: girls don’t do doubles.’ That made me mad. It took girls a couple more years, but at the last Olympics, the girls who won first and second place both did double flips. So girls can do doubles! Girls can do whatever they want to do.”

Professional skater, author, and motivational speaker Doug Brown spoke to Ms. Lisa Reynold’s elementary school students in Independence, Kentucky. Doug promoted the important idea that we should all be kind, accepting, and inclusive of those around us:

“We’re all different. I like the movie Star Wars, and there’s these characters called the Storm Troopers. They’re these robot guys that all look exactly the same; they walk the same, they talk the same. Imagine if we were like that! Life would be so boring. It’s awesome that we’re all different and we should celebrate that. It’s important to be yourself!”

One of Ms. Valencia Serreno’s students from Richland Middle School asked our speaker, coxswain for the U.S. Paralympic Rowing team, Jenny Sichel, what advice she would give to someone experiencing bullying.

“Talk to someone about it. That could be a parent, it could be a teacher, but it’s important to talk to someone about it. A lot of people have been through bullying and a lot of people might know what to do in your situation. Also know that there is life outside of school, and there is life outside of being bullied. There are so many other people out there that really like you and appreciate you, and just want you to be yourself!”

We’d like to thank all of our National Bullying Prevention Month speakers for their inspiring words, our educators for allowing us into their classrooms, and Athletes for Hope for connecting us with these incredible athlete role models. Let’s unite to keep all youth safe from bullying!

Lisa Reynolds’ Class
Ms. Reynolds’ class lined up for a group photo after their flashchat with Doug Brown.

Written by Erinn Fecteau, DreamWakers’ Education Technology Associate

¹National Center for Education Statistics. “Bullying: Fast Facts.” Accessed Aug. 21, 2019. https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=719

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