On January 16, 2017, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, seventy-five Orange County high school students joined with Lion’s Heart and Project Hear Us Foundation to become leaders in bullying prevention. These students, who represented thirty local high schools, spent the day learning how to battle bullying and became certified to teach other students how to do so, as well.
So, what did we learn??? Here are ten powerful tips that students learned, and that you can use to prevent bullying in schools and communities:
1. Take a pledge. Make the commitment to prevent bullying and not tolerate offensive behavior.
2. Be compassionate. Exercising compassion towards others is a great way to form friendships and earn the trust of others. These students from instructor Amy Smith’s class embodied this mindset, and became fast friends.
3. Volunteer in your community. Join an organization, such as Lion’s Heart, to spread compassion and empathy while enriching the lives of others and discovering a new sense of self-worth.
4. Listen to the experts. Anti-bullying leaders, such as Leigh Steinberg, Making Caring Common, and Project Hear Us Foundation, can offer valuable advice on how to approach bullying prevention and stomp out harmful behavior.
5. Be informed. Knowledge is power.
6. Look at both sides of the situation. Understanding the perspective of bullies is a challenging, yet vital part of preventing bullying. If you can put yourself in their shoes, you may see someone who is dealing with personal pain. Bullies need someone to understand their issues, and you can be the one to help them through their struggles in a way that doesn’t involve bullying others.
7. Pursue your dream. Fearlessly follow your passions and stand up for what you believe in. Being passionate about something gives you a sense of self and elevates your confidence and strength regardless of what is going on around you. Sharing your passion with others may give them the connection they need and the inspiration to pursue their own dreams.
8. Believe in yourself. YOU can make a difference! Bullying can be prevented by taking away the power the bully has to affect us. Each and every one of us can change the world.
9. Act without reacting. We learned that reacting online to cyberbullies makes them even more bold. It gives them an audience. But, you’re not powerless. You can take action by printing the offensive screen (before it disappears), reporting them to instagram/snapchat/facebook/etc., blocking the person, or telling a parent or teacher.
10. Never ever give up. There are always kids out there who need your help. Who knows, you could make a friend and save a life!
Giving teens a sense of community and belonging, while teaching them empathy and compassion, is a very important step in the fight against bullying. This program has empowered seventy-five high school students to teach bullying prevention in the middle schools- a great first step in eradicating bullying in the United States, one city at a time. Stay tuned!
Photos by Aaron Regnier Photography
Post written by our super amazing interns:
Carly Eubanks –
Lion’s Heart Team Blogger and Bullying Prevention Event Intern
Carly is a former Member of Lion’s Heart and currently a Lion’s Heart intern working on our National Bullying Prevention Campaign. She is a senior at Cornell University studying Human Biology, Health & Society, with a minor in Health Policy. Interested in biological/microbiological sciences and healthcare systems, with a passion for research and humanitarianism.
Kaelyn Lustig –
Lion’s Heart Team Blogger and Marketing and Graphic Design Intern
Kaelyn is a student at Chapman University in Orange, California with an interest in Advertising, Marketing, Graphic Design and Psychology. She has apprenticed for a freelance graphic designer at LynnRae Design doing projects such as logos, brochures, flyers, playbills and business cards. Kaelyn has an extensive background in the arts, including acting in theater, television, and film along with strong skills in mixed media, drawing, and painting.