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Stopping the Bullying War

Bullying is nothing new. But what’s new are outlets like texting and online social networks—new ways to bully. Recently, it seems the issue of bullying has become worse. Now more than ever, we need people to come together and stand up to bullying. Jordan Goldman is one of those people. As part of Natonal Anti-Bullying Awareness Month, Jordan, founder of www.Unigo.com, is holding a live webcast panel discussion called Bullying—A National Crisis.
 
Girls’ Life got the chance to ask Jordan about his upcoming panel discussion and how we can help stop bullying. Read on to see what you can do to help or where you can go if you’re being bullied.

GL: What are you hoping to achieve with this panel discussion?
Jordan: This panel will bring together some of the nation's leading experts on bullying to talk about why students bully, the impact this is having on students in our schools and offer constructive solutions to the problems at hand.  There will be more than 500 teachers, educators and government officials in attendance, and—by talking and working together—we're hoping to take steps toward tackling this crisis head on.

GL: What made you want to bring attention to this issue? Was there a specific instance, or just a buildup of recent events?
This is an incredibly important issue for everyone to address. It’s estimated that 160,000 students miss school every single day because they’re being bullied and are afraid. And one of every 10 students that drops out of high school does so because of repeated bullying. Those are really shocking numbers.

GL: Is there one story that stands out to you or speaks to you personally?
The statistics speak to me even more than individual stories. Did you know, according to GLSEN, high school students hear anti-gay epithets in school an average of 25 times each day? And teachers fail to respond to these comments 97 percent of the time?

The only way to stop this is to unequivocally state that this activity is unacceptable. Schools, clubs, camps, after school and summer programs and every youth-serving organization needs to train staff and volunteers on effective bullying prevention. That’s the first step.


The second step is to create an environment where difference isn’t condemned—where all students can feel safe and appreciated, no matter who they are.  

GL: What advice can you give to victims of bullying?
Victims of bullying need to know they're not alone. There are people and organizations that want to help them, and can help make the bullying stop. But the first step is for the victims of bullying to reach out, to speak with someone—a teacher or a counselor—and make them aware of the problem. Once they're aware, there are things that can be done. Too many students suffer in silence, and the bullying only gets worse. We need to encourage more conversation, more awareness, so we can have earlier prevention.

GL: Will you have more discussions or available resources in the future on your site, UNIGO?

Absolutely. We have a growing database of information about bullying on Unigo.com—stories from students who are being bullied, stories from students who have overcome bullying and resources for students and educators who want to get more involved, who want to learn more about programs that can help make a difference.
To find out more, visit Unigo.com, and be sure to catch the web panel discussion on October 25. Or share your story on bullying with us.

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by Amara Waters | 2/1/2016
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