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The Low-Down on Cyberbullying: How to Help Your Child


Guest Post by Laura Pearson

Throughout our school years, we’ve all experienced some sort of bullying. Unfortunately, technology provides a completely new playing field for bullying. Children use technology regularly, whether it is text messages with their friends, social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, or even chat rooms. The reality is that children are engaged more than ever, so as parents and caregivers, it is important for you to stay engaged in your child’s cyberlife, even if it is already hard enough to stay updated on their daily life.

What is Cyberbullying?

If you aren’t already familiar with the term cyberbullying, it is one you should make an effort to understand. Put simply, cyberbullying is the use of technology (in all of its various forms), to threaten, harass, embarrass, or otherwise target another individual.  It can be glaringly obvious, such as the mean text or tweet your child shows you, or sneakier, such as a cyberbully using a fake profile to post photos, videos, or information intended to embarrass your child.

Keep in mind that cyberbullying can be paired with more specific bullying such as microaggressions, which are “commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative slights and insults to the target person or group.” Microagressions can be further broken down into three categories:

  • Microassault – Verbal and non-verbal attack meant to hurt via name-calling, avoidance, or purposeful discrimination. Ex.) Your child being avoided or made fun of at school or online for having a disability or being called names because they struggle with classwork.


  • Microinsult – Verbal communication that is rude and insensitive, demeaning a person’s identity. Ex.) A child who is Asian American or Hispanic being complimented on their good English, or being asked where they are from.


  • Microinvalidation – Verbal communication that excludes or negates the feelings and experiences of another person. Ex.) Someone saying, “I don’t see color” or someone telling your child they don’t see him or her as Chinese.


The Stats are Disheartening

Unfortunately, cyberbullying is becoming quite common, as demonstrated by these statistics from 2014:

  • 52 percent of young people admit to being a victim of cyberbullying
  • 20 percent are regular and repeat victims
  • 25 percent of young people have been cyberbullied via cellphone or Internet, 11 percent via photographs, and 10 percent via hate terms directed specifically toward them online
  • Unfortunately, only 6 percent of parents are aware of the scope and intensity of cyberbullying

Unless your child approaches you about cyberbullying, you may not be aware it is going on. Look for signs such as your child being secretive about their online habits, avoidance of school and social activities, changes in mood, behavior, sleep, and appetite, wanting to disengage from the computer or their cellphone, or becoming upset after using any form of technology. Cyberbullying can have detrimental effects, such as depression and anxiety, making it imperative that you keep the conversation open with your child.

What You Can Do

Now that you understand cyberbullying and have seen the facts, you are probably scrambling to find ways to make sure this doesn’t happen to your child, and if it does, what in the world you can do to stop it. First and foremost, make sure your child understands that they never have to deal with anything alone, and asking for help shows strength and courage. You can help them with cyberbullying, but it all starts with speaking up. Encourage them to be proactive by using privacy settings, blocking harassers, and making use of the reporting systems most sites have in place to anonymously report cyberbullying. Turn a negative experience into a positive coping strategy by starting a blog together, or volunteering with a local youth group. Together, you and your child can bring a voice, no matter how small, to cyberbullying and show others how to treat one another with kindness and respect.

If your child is reluctant to open up to you, employ other protective measures such as using monitoring services or using a web-rules contract to set boundaries as to where your child can and can’t go online. Consider placing the computer in a public room, such as the living room, so you can keep a watchful eye. Even if you can’t get your child to open up, try to broach the subject in a different way such as asking what cool sites there are online.

Cyberbullying is a serious issue with serious consequences. Take a moment to have a conversation with your child and learn more about their cyber footprints. Find the best way to monitor your child’s online activity and check in often to ensure their online habits aren’t harmful.




Being the Change

Hello, my name is Julia and I am going into my senior year of high school. I wanted to take a few moments to share my journey to battle cyber bullying, in the hope that by reading this we all can realize the ability we have as high school students to make change. During my sophomore year I took a class titled Law and Society. One of our major projects during second semester was a legal resolutions project. Here we were challenged to find a problem facing the world and to develop legislation to solve it. For the project I decided to take on cyber bullying. Through my research I reached out to families who had lost children due to constant harassment online by their peers. I was curious so see what they wanted to see changed, given the issue was so close to them. This is when I came into contact with the Megan Meier foundation. For me, this was the defining moment when I realized that something needed to change. I made a promise to each of these families. I promised that I would not stop fighting for change after I turned my project in. This is a promise that I intend to keep. I have been an active member of my high school’s public speaking team for all four years and I decided to use this platform to help spread the word. I participate in a style of speech called Original Advocacy. This is a ten minute, individual speech where you address a problem and propose a legislative solution to solve it. After the legal resolutions project, I had earned a great sum on knowledge about cyber bullying that I wanted to share with other high school students. I decided to use Megan’s story for the intro to my speech.  Through delivering my speech in competitions during my junior year, I was able to reach around a total of 100 students. However, I wanted to make sure that other students outside of the public speaking spectrum could learn about the dangers of cyber bullying. This is why I decided to start a cyber bullying awareness club at my school. What I failed to realize, though, was the lack of interest in signing up. I had envisioned a group of students working to research and draft legislation for cyber bullying while helping to educate the public. Like all failures you gain something, even if it wasn’t what you were hoping for. What the lack of interest showed me was how much work there needed to be done. How could I inspire people to stop cyber bullying when the presidential candidates were harassing each other over twitter? People, who are supposed to be leading our county and setting an example for citizenship were doing the exact thing I was advocating against. This is when I was given an amazing new opportunity. In 2016, I was selected to attend California Girls State. This is a one week program where one student is selected to represent their school. We then all work together to develop and run our own state government. One of our many responsibilities in preparing for the program was to write a piece of legislation. Here was my opportunity to get the word out about cyber bullying to high school leaders from all over my state. Even though my bill was not passed it received lots of praise and sparked realization in many other Girls State members. Like I said earlier, I made a promise to those families to keep the fight against cyber bullying alive. People need to start taking action because cyber bullying is only on the rise. A 2013 youth risk behavior survey found that 15% of high school students were electronically bullied in the past year. This number increased dramatically when two years later, 52% of high school students reported being cyber bullied. This problem is not one that can be changed quickly or quietly, and that I why I continue to fight for the victims that have lost their voice. I intend to keep my promise. As students, our voices are often dismissed for lack of wisdom or knowledge. What I want to prove to you all is that our voices are the most important ones. We represent a future, which I know is a cliché term, but here especially it rings true. As we grow up and raise our own families we will have the opportunity to show them that bullying is not a necessary part of growing up. Thank for taking the time to read this. I hope you are able to take this and go onto do bigger and better things in the fight against cyber bullying.

How I Found My Voice as an Advocate for Treacher Collins Syndrome

Guest Blog By Cynthia Murphy

I wasn’t born an advocate for Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS), and if anyone had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up (which few people did), it would have been the last thing to cross my mind. Like others with disabilities, I was just trying to survive and lead a normal life by pursuing my educational studies and working full time.

Later, I advocated for my friends and family because I had a law background and they didn’t. I did legal paperwork, helped get financial aid for students and wrote any number of letters to help any number of people. Yet I still didn’t consider myself an advocate, especially since a lot of what I did was an attempt to buy friendships.

Someone told me recently that she could not connect with others who had Treacher Collins. I think I might have been the same way when I was younger. I didn’t want to be in the Treacher Collins world. I wanted to be in the “normal” one. Unfortunately, the people in that world, most of them anyway, were the ones who judged. They couldn’t understand our differences; and in all honesty, we couldn’t fully relate to them either.

This year, I met two people older than I who have established careers and who are comfortable with who they are. They don’t care if other people are looking at them, and they made me question why I still do sometimes. Although our stories are different, they inspired me. About the same time I met them, I started posting articles and videos on social media. Immediately I heard from hundreds of people saying that I am an inspiration to them. Now, I get it. Advocacy is about awareness. It’s the bigger picture. It’s about relating to others in more ways than one.

There weren’t any books on craniofacial differences when I was growing up. I had no advocates. Thus, I was essentially alone in a sad, depressing world. I wanted to be part of so many things, and I couldn’t. Getting picked last for baseball or group projects in art, history, or drama is a horrible feeling. It happened to me all the time, and I hated it. When I advocate for Treacher Collins, I’m doing it for everyone who has ever suffered those feelings of inadequacy and exclusion. And I’m doing it for me.

Yes, I’m afraid sometimes. And no, I can’t always separate myself from the criticism I receive. When you’ve experienced ridicule, the last thing you want to do is speak out publicly and leave yourself vulnerable to criticism. Still, I feel I have a voice that stems from my experience, and I am committed to making it heard.

No one “kind of” has Treacher Collins — just as no one “kind of” gets bullied, “kind of” gets discriminated against, or “kind of” suffers from insecurities and depression as a result of all those. No one is “kind of” an outcast.

I’m advocating for the person who maybe only has the distinctive eye shape. I’m advocating for the young person facing his or her 30th surgery. I’m advocating for the people who, like me, have to function simultaneously between a sound and silent world.

I’m advocating for myself, and I’m advocating for you.

This post originally appeared on The Mighty, a website where people with disabilities, diseases and mental illness share their stories.

When I Auditioned for ‘America’s Next Top Model’

Guest Blog By Cynthia Murphy

When Nyle DiMarco was named “America’s Next Top Model” in the show’s season finale in December, he was the first deaf contestant to win a $100,000 contract. While the hit show was scheduled for cancellation, this particular win ignited a national response and reaction to his success, and now the show will continue. There is no mistaking the fact that the fashion industry tends to disregard diversity.

As I watched DiMarco’s recent victory, I remembered back to 2009, as I stood with a group of other women getting ready to audition for ANTM. My friends couldn’t believe I went through with it considering I was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a craniofacial disorder. Many of us born with Treacher Collins look at our faces and see a puzzle full of pieces that will never fit. We see a disaster. We see a miserable childhood full of bullying and a life of insecurity and anger. We’re tormented at school, ignored by the opposite sex and we usually resort to various facial surgeries to repair what doesn’t work (such as physical appearance, hearing and speech) and to make ourselves look more like the people we want to fit in with. When I auditioned for that show, I had already been through more than 10 cosmetic surgeries, and my friends told me I was pretty. But was I pretty by the standards of “normal?” As I approached that large auditorium in Los Angeles, wearing four-inch heels and a black cocktail dress, I signed in and joined the other women.

I tried making small talk, but nobody looked at nor spoke to me. Some snickered. I felt alone and stupid for being there, but I was determined to go through with the process. Finally, my group was called. We all stood against the wall, and judges walked up to us and took notes as we turned from side to side. Finally, they called the numbers of the ones who would go onto the next stage. My number wasn’t one of them. Although I lied to others about how far I made it in the process, I couldn’t lie to myself.

Now, as I watched a deaf male win, I realized he was picked, not by judges, but by the power of the people through social media, similar to the way the winners of “American Idol” are selected. I take this as positive for those of us who don’t fit the stereotype of attractive. When the people vote for what is beautiful, perhaps they will see something that fashion-industry professional judges miss.

Society today is seeking inspiration as a result of difference, and even though many of us are different, that doesn’t make us incapable of pursuing the same career goals as anyone else. There is a desire and need for diversity and more inclusive beauty standards in the fashion industry. If the definition of an authentic role model stems from all-inclusiveness, then why isn’t the industry setting an example to be all-inclusive? Why would I subscribe to a magazine full of models who are deemed the true definition of beauty, when I can never aspire to be in in that category?

We live in a world of difference, a world that so far, has not often been represented in the modeling and entertainment industries. This prejudice carries over to the professional world, where people with facial disorders want to be accepted and looked at based on our own merits.

Although I dropped out of high school, I was fortunate enough to work for one of the largest law firms in the state. The first attorney I worked for encouraged me to return to school, and I earned my associate’s and then my bachelor’s degree and graduated with honors. I have nearly completed my master’s and am studying for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). For the past nine years, I have been married to a good man who sees and loves the real me.

No, I won’t be auditioning for ANTM soon, but I hope that someone — many someones— with craniofacial disorders will be. I hope the perception of beauty transcends the limitations of the past and becomes more inclusive. I remember how the other contestants derided DiMarco because of his deafness, because he lived in a world of silence and was different, because, as they said, he would never fit into the high-stakes world he so aspired to join. With tears in my eyes, I heard his name called and watched his face light up in disbelief and overwhelming happiness when the American Sign Language interpreter translated the announcement of his win.

What is beauty? Here’s what I think. I think the perception of beauty changes. It always has, and it always will. Beauty is not only what is on the outside; it’s the inside that radiates on that outside. It’s a lot of people who never before had a chance. It is all of us who keep saying, “Here we are. Look at us.”


This post originally appeared on The Mighty, a website where people with disabilities, diseases and mental illness share their stories.

Social Media: Oversharing and Privacy

cybersafeWe hear it all the time – we need to be cybersafe each and every day. What exactly, though, does being cybersafe mean? While formal definitions will vary, “cybersafe” can be summed up quite effectively as “the safe and responsible use of information and communication online.”

Unfortunately, the issue of safety on the internet doesn’t hit home with most people until they hear about a tragic story in the news or are informed of the eye-popping statistics that have been researched.

If you are an avid follower of the Megan Meier Foundation blog or have seen our #TipTuesday or #FactFriday weekly trends on Facebook and Twitter, you may have come across a few of these eye opening statistics in your community:

  • 42% of kids have been bullied online
  • 75% of kids have visited websites bashing others
  • 81% of teens think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person
  • Only 1 in 10 teens tell a parent if they have been a victim of cyberbullying
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 cyberbullying incidents are reported to law enforcement


  • Save all the evidence! If you’re experiencing cyberbullying, take screenshots of everything. This gives you reinforcement if things start to get too out of hand.
  • Contact the police. Cyberbullying laws are evident throughout the United States today and police have the power to help you in such cases unlike years past.
  • Protect your accounts. Be aware that social networking outlets (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) have significantly improved their privacy policies over the years. Never share your passwords with anyone and don’t accept random friend requests from people you have not met.

But what is and isn’t appropriate to share online?

 At one point or another, we’ve all said or did something we wish we could take back. When we do it in person, sometimes we can get away with it because it is not documented. However, whatever you say on social media IS documented and can be used against you down the line.

With that said, here is a list of 5 do’s and don’ts (on a list of many) when it comes to what is appropriate to share online:


  1. Breaking/important news in the media.
  2. Vary your posts – be different and unique.
  3. Use humor! (As long as it doesn’t attack another person(s) or group.)
  4. Milestones and other important date related news.
  5. Photos/videos that capture the pure happiness of your life and won’t degrade others in any manner.

NOT Appropriate

  1. Your address and phone number.
  2. Personal finance information.
  3. Your password(s) to anything.
  4. Personal conversations.
  5. Photos/videos depicting illegal or frowned upon activity of any sort.

Keep your digital footprint clean and remember this golden rule: Your social media accounts are NOT a diary. Their purpose is not to feel compelled to share every second of every day with your followers. Think of it this way, if you already posted 15 photos and videos of the concert you were at Friday night, before you’ve even left the concert, what are you going to have to talk about when you see the rest of your friends? Chances are, they’ve already seen your photos, right?

Keep your private moments private and be aware when you find yourself oversharing personal moments, no matter how happy or exciting they may have been. Or as we like to say; hang up and hang out!

Protect yourself using your privacy settings in social media.

 One of the most important aspects of the social media experience is understanding the privacy settings of various networks and knowing your rights when using them.

Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media network, there are rules and regulations that all individuals must follow, or risk facing the consequences.

When an individual signs up for any social networking account, they agree to be respectful in both what they post and the manner in which they communicate with other users.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of people who ignore these precautions set aside for the safety and enjoyment of others, and that’s when action needs to be taken.

Additionally, it’s crucial to the social media experience to know the difference between a public and private profile. More times than not, anyone who has a public profile does so without putting much thought into it (they are public by default), and the more aware/educated users manually change their profiles to private.

You can learn more about social media and how to make reports by visiting our website at the Megan Meier Foundation (links below):

Report Social Media     Social Media Help

Social media friends/followers – how important are they really?

 A huge friends/followers list is not all it’s cracked up to be. The person with 2,000 followers, has 2,000 people that are constantly aware of their every move through the use of social media and opens the doors to potential dangers down the road.

Think about this example. Let’s say Person A (we’ll call her Sam) has recently become a target of cyberbullying through the use of Facebook. Sam has 1,500 friends, the majority of whom he’s never actually met in person.

Although Sam has taken the right step to make his profile private, the truth is his personal information is still available for those 1,500 friends who he is friends with on Facebook. He can go through his list of friends and try to identity who may be attacking him, but that is surly a long, exhausting, and potentially never-ending and never-resolving situation.

Person B (we’ll call her Lauren) has 80 friends on Facebook, all of whom she knows through family, school, work, and recreational sports.

Like Sam, Lauren has a private profile but in her case, only those 80 well-known individuals have access to her information. Should Lauren ever become a target for cyberbullying, her awareness and decision-making to think ahead would benefit her greatly.

The bottom line: Becoming friends with people you have never met, nor will ever speak to on the social media pages does nothing to improve your social standing. Only add trusted individuals on these websites.

The internet and technology in general have opened so many doors for our generation, however, that hasn’t come without it’s fair share of challenges.

Most of the activity that the average person experiences online may seem innocent and completely harmless, but real-life dangers can always be just a click away.

With your help, we can make a difference. Help end the fight against bullying. Join the conversation using the hashtag #CyberSafe and #BeTheChange.

Megan Meier Foundation Teams Up With Ledbetter!

Hey Guys!

In case you haven’t already heard, there is something BIG happening here at the Megan Meier Foundation!

During the entire month of July, we have teamed up with Ledbetter to raise awareness on the devastating effects of bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide, and shop with purpose! Ledbetter, a small company located in Denver, Colorado, has released six special design t-shirts AND two exclusive headbands to benefit the Megan Meier Foundation through your purchase – but don’t wait, these items won’t be here for long!

Since birth, Founder and CEO of Ledbetter, Joshua Ledbetter, has been deaf and faced many obstacles growing up because of his disability. After years of being faced with tremendous obstacles because of the challenges his disability presented, he still faced discrimination and overwhelming rejection after graduating from college  when searching for a job that fit his degree. Joshua has since set out to make a difference, not only for himself, but for others around him – sparking his groundbreaking idea for Ledbetter.

Originating from his own last name, Joshua and the rest of the Ledbetter team have set forward to pursue their mission to “Live, Love, and Learn Every Day Better.” After reaching out to the Megan Meier Foundation earlier this summer, they developed new ways to pursue their mission through products that directly benefit the Foundation. When they heard our story about how “Live” came about, the objective became pretty clear: “Live to be the Change… Live Every Day Better.”

Exclusively during the month of July, Ledbetter has launched six campaign exclusive t-shirt designs along with two campaign exclusive headbands that give $3 from each purchase back to the Megan Meier Foundation!

all merch

It’s amazing to see just how far the Foundation and Megan’s legacy has come since 2006. At the time of Megan’s tragedy, there were NO laws that prosecuted cyberbullies and no stories that shook our world quite like hers. With action and awareness of bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide related issues becoming slightly more prevalent, our nation has taken great strides in taking action.

We are the world changers. The difference makers. We truly are the change that this world needs to see.

It is time for YOU to please join us in making a difference and becoming that change that YOU would like to see in this world.

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to become whatever the change YOU need to see in this would and grab your limited edition campaign gear today and stay tuned into all our social media to find out how you can get entered to win some sweet giveaways!

To learn more about the Megan Meier Foundation and Megan’s Story, click here.

Follow the progress of our July campaign using the hashtag #LedbetterCampaign #LTBTC

Out-Of-School Time Programs Provide Youth With Bullying Help Resources During Summer Months

blog 15 pic

As we know, bullying among the youth has become a major issue in the United States over the last 10-15 years. Although technological advances have improved many aspects of our daily lives, it has also negatively impacted others (the number of bullying/cyberbullying-related cases, for example) as well.

Children (K-12) are generally in school for nine months out of a typical calendar year. Victims of bullying have the opportunity to reach out to friends, peers, teachers, and counselors (among others) on any given day at school.

But what about the summer months?

It’s important to point out that bullying never stops. We as a society tend to associate bullying with school, but that is not always the case. For years now, we’ve needed more resources that the youth can turn to in times of need when school is out of session.

Out-Of-School Time Programs are the latest and greatest solution to this problem. “Out-of-school time programs fill the gap for working parents and communities concerned about how and where youth spend their free time. Professionals and volunteers in this field cover a diverse range of activities and organizations.”

Take a look below to learn more about how Out-Of-School Programs are geared to make a difference, according to

  • They assist in extracurricular activities as coaches in sports and recreation; instructors of dance, art, and music; advisors for academic clubs; and leaders of faith and worship groups.
  • They work part-time or full-time to teach new knowledge and skills in after-school and tutoring programs; computer labs; homework centers; apprenticeships; entrepreneurial and job training; and in experiences in camping, scouting, and service learning.
  • Many are staff, volunteers, andyouth leaders with large national and community-based organizations (e.g., Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, 4-H Clubs and YMCAs, along with many others) who enhance every aspect of children’s lives—academics; social, artistic, and athletic skills; morality; and citizenship.

Since this is a fairly new idea, the research and data for Out-Of-School Time Programs results cannot be determined. However, it is clear that the adults who devote their time to helping the youth are seeing that their efforts make a difference in the lives of the children.

To learn more about the programs and all that they do, please visit and search for the Out-Of-School Time Programs link.

With your help, we can make a difference. Help end the fight against bullying. Join the conversation using the hashtag #StopBullying and #BeTheChange.

Good morning Baltimore.

Came across this blog today and have since felt the overwhelming need to share with you all. Please, don’t stand in silence any longer. Talk about the emptiness.

hannah brencher.

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 11.19.16 PM

I take two white pills every night before I crawl into the sheets. They are a reminder to me, more than anything, that November happened.

November happened.

And so did December. January. February. A collection of months I wished, for so long, I could scrape off the calendar. I thought I knew darkness before those months. In a lot of ways, I didn’t know anything until those months came crashing on top of me. Sometimes you think you are fine until everything around you falls apart. And then you see the truth: everything was not fine. You were dying inside. You were clinging to other people to complete you. You were desperately in need of rewiring.

I think thereare times in our lives when we need an upgrade. Or a software update. And then there are times when we need all the little things inside of us to…

View original post 2,261 more words

Where in the United States is Bullying Most Evident?

Written by Ryan Smith, Megan Meier Foundation Intern

blog 14 pic 1I came across a very interesting statistic while doing some research on bullying recently. The article, originally written in 2011 by author Michael Miller, informs us of the 5 states where bullying occurs the most often in the U.S.

For clarification purposes, we should first give a formal definition of the term “bullying.” Bullying is defined as the “physical, verbal, or psychological attacks or intimidation against a person who cannot properly defend himself or herself. It includes two key components: 1. Repeated harmful acts. 2. Imbalance of power.”

Before reading on and hearing what states the act of bullying occurs most often, I would challenge you to think on your own for a moment and consider your most educated guess. Do you think it is relative to the north or the south? The east or the west? Could it be your very own home state?

One thing that we are all sure of is that bullying occurs in every state in the U.S. With that said, here is the list of 5 most frequent in our country:

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Illinois
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Washington

It is important to point out that this data is recorded based on percentage of bullying incidents per state in relation to the total population, not necessarily the total number of examples overall (otherwise, states like Texas and Florida would crack the top 5).

You may asking yourself “does data that was collected in 2011 still apply today in 2015?” The image below is a much more up-to-date infographic which depicts, among other things, the worst states to live in for bullying K-12 in the U.S. (you’ll notice a consistent trend – look at the top right).

blog 14 pic 2

Raising awareness, while at the same time publicly expressing displeasure with the way particular state(s) are handling their bullying issues, is a great way to go about change. Nobody wants to say that they live in a state on the list of the top 5 worst of anything, so hopefully we can continue to make strides as a society as we head into the future.

With your help, we can make a difference. Help end the fight against bullying. Join the conversation using the hashtag #StopBullying and #BeTheChange.

Derek Jeter – The Latest Athlete to Take a Stand Against Bullying

ST LOUIS - OCTOBER 25:  Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees reacts while speaking at a press conference announcing him as the recepient of the Hank Aaron Award before the start of Game Four of the 2006 World Series between the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 25, 2006 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS – OCTOBER 25: Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees reacts while speaking at a press conference announcing him as the recipient of the Hank Aaron Award before the start of Game Four of the 2006 World Series between the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 25, 2006 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Whether you are a fan of professional baseball or not, you’ve probably heard the name “Derek Jeter” before. Jeter was the face of Major League Baseball for 20 seasons beginning in 1995 and recently ending in 2014, all with the New York Yankees.

Unlike so many other athletes who have publicly taken a stand against bullying, Jeter never experienced bullying of any sort (direct bullying or cyberbullying) growing up or at any other point in his life. Regardless, his feelings on the issue cannot be taken lightly.

Shortly after becoming a professional ballplayer in 1996, Jeter founded the Turn 2 Foundation, a charitable organization established to promote healthy lifestyles among youth. Helping children overcome drug and alcohol addictions while rewarding academically achieving students are just a few of the contributions that have been made over the last two decades.

Needless to say, the world we live in today in 2015 is a much different place than it was in 1996. The way humans interact with each other, particularly through the use of cell phones and social media, has really changed the way we live our lives.

On Thursday morning (June 18), Jeter announced that he has become an investor in Stop!t, who aims to put an end to any form of bullying or harassment through the use of electronic devices. Their mission statement is as follows:

“STOPit is a simple, fast and powerful solution to report inappropriate behaviors, deter unethical or illegal activity, and mitigate financial and reputation risks to schools and corporations.”

In a statement shortly after the announcement, Jeter said: “The Turn 2 Foundation is dedicated to helping young people reach their full potential, and bullying is an obstacle that stands in the way of that for too many. By working with Stop!t, we hope to empower both bystanders and victims to put an end to bullying. This is a critical step in creating a clear path to academic and personal success for all students, and sends a message that bullying in any form is unacceptable.”

It’s truly refreshing to see some of the most iconic and recognizable names in our society taking a stand and making a difference when it comes to bullying/cyberbullying. The future is looking bright as long as we continue to raise awareness.

With your help, we can make a difference. Help end the fight against bullying. Join the conversation using the hashtag #StopBullying and #BeTheChange.