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Anti-Bullying From the Teen Perspective

Do the Write Thing By Jeremy Holm, Team Captain
I spent the weekend as a celebrity judge for the Utah-chapter of the national Do the Write Thing Campaign, a country-wide program designed to reduce youth violence in our junior high and high schools.

This is the third year I've had the opportunity to act as a judge for the DTWT Campaign and I must say, it is a humbling experience. As a celebrity judge it is my responsibility to read twelve of the top anti-violence essays submitted from students across the state and evaluate them for content.

I say it is a humbling experience because the personal stories shared by these young students are both heart-wrenching and inspiring. Their essays are eye-opening studies of what daily life is like for students in our schools. Teen bullyingThe acts of bullying, child abuse, teasing and intolerance that I've been reading about are enough to bring tears to your eyes. We try so hard to protect our youth from the dangers of the world, only to find out that sometimes the greatest threats they face are from their fellow-students.

On the other hand, these students have also been charged with coming up with solutions to reducing the amount of violence in and out of the schools they attend. Their insight into the causes and potential solutions of bullying are amazing. These kids have seen some of the worst acts of bullying and violence that I've ever heard of, yet their hope for a better future for their fellow-students is unconquerable.

mutual respectGreater than their courage and desire to eliminate violence in the schools and their lives, these students often express an understanding that even bullies deserve to be helped and listened to and are often the very people who need compassion the most.

While we often think that bullying, teasing and even violence are problems only for the young, the truth is that we would all do well to remember that the principles of respect, compassion, understanding and tolerance are things we can all build our lives around.

At the end of the day, it isn't about the color of our skin, the language we speak or the religious beliefs we hold to, its about our unchangeable worth as human beings. Every person is a beautiful wonder that deserves a measure of honor. I hope we never forget that.


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