Kids Stand Up Against Bullying
“Bullying needs to stop.”
That’s what 8-year-old Gracyn Yelverton’s told Biloxi, Mississippi, TV station WLOX, when asked about her award-winning anti-bullying project.
Gracyn was so inspired by the book “Bullies Never Win” that she created a project based on the book for her school’s reading fair.
“I wanted to bring awareness to bullying,” she told WLOX reporter Trang Pham-Bui. “That (book) taught me not to bullying anyone.”
The people who judged Gracyn’s project were reportedly so impressed by it that it won competitions at the district, regional and statewide levels.
Now, Gracyn is trying to spread her anti-bullying message among her classmates at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School in Biloxi.
“We’re very proud of her,” teacher Valerie Spires told WLOX.
Gracyn’s not the only one who’s taking a stand against bullying.
All around the country, kids are standing up and speaking out on behalf of kids who often feel powerless to speak for themselves.
“I want people who can’t speak for themselves to know that I care,” said Nicolena Weber, a sixth-grader at Manhattan Middle School in Boulder, Colorado, in an interview with the Boulder Daily Camera. “I will help them.”
On April 19th, Nicolena’s school took part in a national project called the Day of Silence.
It’s a project specifically created in response to the harassment of gay kids at schools across the country.
But by staying silent for a day, the kids at Manhattan Middle School hoped to make a powerful statement against all forms of bullying.
“By participating, we are taking action and showing that we want this hatred abolished,” Manhattan eighth-grader Joanna Roditis told the Daily Camera.
Sadly, the Day of Silence project took place the same day as the funeral of 14-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn.
Kenneth was a kid from Iowa who reportedly faced severe bullying after telling people at his school that he was gay.
His family says he killed himself because of that bullying.
“He was pretty popular. He had a lot of friends. But once they found out he was gay, a lot of them turned on him,” said Kenneth’s older sister, Kayla Weishuhn, in an interview with Sioux City, Iowa, TV station KCAU. “I tried to stick up for him a couple of times. But I guess it wasn’t enough.”
Another kid in Iowa says kids who are being bullied can come to him.
“I’d give them advice about what to do and stuff,” said 10-year-old Sid Hudson, in an interview with Des Moines, Iowa, TV station KCCI.
Sid says he created “Sid’s Bullying Service” after being bullied himself.
“I was just tired of getting bullied around,” he told KCCI reporter Patrick Bell. “I know how it feels to be bullied. And it doesn’t feel good.”
To get the word out about his service, Sid posted signs around his hometown of Maxwell, Iowa.
And the signs apparently got noticed.
“I did have parents come up to me,” said Sid’s mom, Steph Hudson, in an interview with KCCI. “And they said they saw the sign and told their kids, ‘Hey, go find Sid if you’re having problems.’”
Sid says he hopes his service will make bullies think twice before they do hurtful things to other people.
According to him, bullying doesn’t make you strong.
But taking a stand against bullying does – especially if you’re doing it to help someone else.
“A strong man stands up for himself,” he said. “(But) a stronger man stands up for others.”