EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

December 11, 2012

Salem students stand up against bullying

SALEM — On Nov. 29, students from Salem High School joined nearly 5,000 middle and high school students and teachers from across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island at the Tsongas Center in Lowell for a one-day program to take a stand against all forms of bullying.

STAND UP 2012 was created to educate, motivate and empower young people to actively promote positive social change in their schools and communities.

The STAND UP 2012 program was developed in partnership with renowned bullying prevention authorities to ensure the most effective messaging and call to action for the students and their educators.

The STAND UP 2012 event included educational information, dialogue, entertainment and celebrities to motivate students to stand up to bullying in their communities and schools. In addition, students had the opportunity to break into groups to discuss their own ideas and opinions about bullying, and how to create positive change.

“Events like STAND UP help our students better understand what they can do to help those that are being bullied in school,” guidance counselor Shawn Brown said. “The goal of our Anti-Bullying Committee is dedicated to inspire students to make a difference in our school community.”

Featured guests at STAND UP 2012 included a performance by Jillian Jensen of the 2012 X-Factor auditions and bullying victim; Lizzie Velasquez, motivational speaker and author of “Be Beautiful, Be You;” and Kirk Smalley, featured in the movie “Bully.”

Other program highlights included a student “town hall meeting,” an interactive discussion featuring a diverse group of students all impacted by some aspect of bullying.

The student audience was encouraged to participate in the discussion through an audience question-and-answer period and interactive texting technologies.

The discussion was facilitated by representatives from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, a well-known anti-bullying organization.

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