VIDEO: Student Designs Anti-Bullying App for Schools Driven by his personal experiences being bullied in eighth grade, 17-year-old Brandon Boynton has created a new app called The BullyBØx that aims to stop cyberbullying. According to WishTV, The BullyBØx is free for students at the schools where it is implemented, and allows them to anonymously report incidents and email screenshots directly to school administrators. The anonymity of the app encourages students who report cyberbullying to feel like upstanders rather than “snitches.” Liberty Christian High School in Anderson, IN is the first school to implement The BullyBØx, and several schools are following suit. Superintendent Lynn Staley is excited for the new anti-bullying tool, stating, “It makes it simple. It’s easy to use. You can use it on all technology. It’s anonymous. Why wouldn’t we want to do that?” Since creating The BullyBØx, Brandon has partnered with Pro-Claim, a nonprofit that works to encourage people to live without limits, and has set up an Indie GoGo fund to raise money for the app’s expansion.
Join us this weekend for the National Leadership Gathering in Billings, Montana to engage with active community leaders about making our towns and schools safe and inclusive. Featuring film screenings, workshops, events, and panel discussions, the National Leadership Gathering is a great opportunity to learn positive community action and bring it back to your town! At our last National Leadership Gathering in 2006, youth leaders came together to share their efforts to make their schools more accepting. Their work and spirit of collaboration embody what it means to be an upstander. Find their discussion in this short video.
By Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas Not In Our School Director In a recent NIOT blog, we shared how student leaders from the Not In Our School anti-bullying campaign at Marshalltown High School in Iowa were the ones who spoke up and averted a school shooting. In this four-part series, we will explore the issues of school violence, show one elementary school's activities to stop school violence and offer a two-part exploration of the restorative justice model, a promising strategy for interrupting and ending cycles of violence. Youth Violence Adults distinguish between brutal teasing, bullying, fighting, and a school shooting, but all these behaviors are part of a continuum of youth violence. Behaviors on this continuum can easily escalate. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) considers youth violence a public health issue. In 2010, 4,828 young people ages 10 to 24 were victims of homicide—an average of 13 each day.
In addition to our films and resources, Not In Our School wants to share with you the inspiring practices of teachers and administrators who are bringing the anti-bullying mission to their classrooms and campuses. Today we spotlight the work of Abbott Middle School in San Mateo, CA. Abbott Middle School has created a Campus Climate Committee with a range of exciting and interactive activities. As part of this work, Abbott teachers have also made a “promise” to support their students. The Campus Climate Committee (CCC) includes students, parents, and teachers. The students developed activities to address areas of concern such as rumors, the isolation of bullied students, and being an upstander. The committee worked to promote awareness among students and staff on the problems that occur when bullying is left unchecked, and how to proactively engage in intervening. Abbott teacher Jordan Sher shares their journey with us, walking us through recommended activities and a teacher promise that other schools can use and adapt. Read Sher's piece, "Creating a Campus Climate Committee" on NotInOurSchool.org.
That's why we talk. That's why we have dialogue: to learn about the things that we are unaware, they said. We all come from different backgrounds, and it takes a collective effort to weave a tapestry that paints an accurate portrait of our community. By David Alexander, Staff Writer at the Times-Republican Sister Chris Feagan said people are like M&Ms: they come in a variety of colors, but they are all the same inside.
With Not In Our School, move into action for a safe, accepting and inclusive school. Six simple solutions: If you are being bullied: tell them to stop, get away from the situation, and tell a trusted adult. If you see someone being bullied, be an upstander: Tell the person to stop, get a trusted adult, reach out and be friends. With your children: Listen and support your children. Work with the school to be sure your child is safe. In Your School: Learn and help train all adults and youth on how to recognize and respond to bullying. With Others Who Care: Start a Not In Our School Anti-bullying Club where youth lead in finding solutions. In Your School and the Entire Community: Create an identity-safe climate where all people are respected. Start today to address bullying and intolerance with these additional resources from Stopbullying.gov: Stop It On the Spot — Respond — Prevent and Build a Safe Community
If you've been following our Facebook page, you know we have been in Marshalltown, Iowa—twice! This city of 28,000 residents is taking a proactive stance to preventing hate and bullying, bringing the entire town together to say, "Not In Our Town." Here are some images from these exciting events in Marshalltown. Interested in starting your own Not In Our Town campaign? Find Marshalltown, Iowa resources in the Not In Our Town Action Kit to adapt for your community.