"Research from Princeton, Rutgers, and Yale Universities show that when students are the ones to take a stand against bullying- as opposed to adults performing assemblies- it's significantly more impactful. Bullying is an epidemic. It occurs in communities, in schools, even in homes. Over 160,000 kids refuse to go to school each day for fear of being bullied. 1 in 3 students in the U.S. have been bullied in school and most bullying happens in Middle School. The behavior of a bully is often aggressive and includes a difference in power, such as popularity, as well as a repeating act over time."
In middle school, I have seen this behavior time and time again, especially at lunch.
I always try to be a person who makes everyone feel welcome. While at McGinn Elementary School, I created a Buddy Bench on the playground so kids had a place to go when they felt alone or needed a friend.
As I was thinking about my Mitzvah Project, I knew I wanted to do something to raise more awareness for this bullying epidemic.
I was inspired by a speech by Dianne Grossman, whose daughter Mallory sadly and tragically took her own life in June 2017 at the age of 12. Mallory and I were very similar. She was from an NJ suburb, attended a good school, had close friends, was a lover of arts, participated in cheerleading, and was a thoughtful and kind person.
"Over the course of the 2012-2013 school year, 56 New Jersey middle schools that armed their most influential students with social media training and various bullying awareness gear, like bright-colored wristbands, saw a 30 percent reduction in student conflict reports."
For my Mitzvah Project, I worked with my friends to create a Bullying Awareness and Prevention video. You can view it by clicking above
I hope you'll join Mallory's Army and live a bracelet kind of life: where you wear a bracelet on your wrist to remind you to be an upstander and not a bystander. Please click "Donate Now" and buy some bracelets to proudly wear and share a reminder to be kind. For a gift of $10, you will receive 3 bracelets: one for you and two to share and pass on others. If you don't want/need bracelets and would just like to make a donation to Mallory's Army, you can click "Donate Now" and do that too!
I want to thank All Saints' Church for using their space to shoot the video. I want to thank my mom, dad, sister, friends, and extended family in supporting me in my efforts to blue out bullying. Special thanks to my friends who helped with this project: Katie Echols, Mackenzie Crimmins, Abby Noriega, Jane Harrison, Kourtney Most, Charlotte Middleton, Ashley Sekiya, Maddie Beauregard, Grace Sweeney, Olvia Gomez, and David Gomez. Last but not least, thank you to Mallory and Dianne for inspiring me to fight. I love you all!