Since we began our partnership with AT&T a few months ago, we have been able to expand our reach and work to end bullying. We collaborated on an extensive poll of New York-area teens and parents to uncover attitudes and behaviors related to cyberbullying. The results were substantial. Nearly half of all teens say they have been bullied online. 8 in 10 know someone who has been the victim of cyberbullying.Read the full results of our poll here!
On May 14th we joined AT&T and the All American High School Film Festival in kicking off an exciting opportunity for 100 New York-area student filmmakers, as they compete at the national Teen Film Festival. The teens created films focused on the personal effects of cyberbullying. We are honored to be a partner for this incredible event. The films produced and the relationships built during this weekend will create more compassion and respect at high schools across the New York area.
The videos are a powerful and emotional lens into the experience of being cyber-bullied, by teens and for teens. Check out one of the submissions below:
The Wall Street Journal, in a fantastic new piece from Leslie Gore, unveiled the latest cyber-bullying research, which comes out of a poll of 1,000 NYC-area teens and parents (unrelated to each other). The results of the study demonstrate the considerable need for anti-bullying work in the forms of not only awareness, but hands-on preventative measures such as the #Day1 Campaign. We now that about half off all youth identify as victims of cyber-bullying, showing that the problem is more rampant than many have thought.
This data shows that online bullying and harassment is a tremendous problem in our youth culture. Nearly half of all teens say they have been bullied online. 43% of teens say they would be "terrified" if their parents read their texts. 8 in 10 know someone who has bee the victim of cyberbullying. The latest polling results show the need for the preventative work of the Tyler Clementi Foundation and our programs such as #Day1 and the Tyler Clementi Institute for Cyber Safety at New York Law School. Check it out here.
By: Ama Karikari-Yawson Esq., Author of Sunne's Gift and Founder of Milestales Publishing and Education Consulting
The two men on motor cycles were on either side of our Toyota revving their engines. My mother drove further up, then the men drove further up. My mother drove up again. The men followed and revved their engines again. “Nigger bitches” the one on my side said in a low tone. They sped off. Why on earth did they do that? My mom and I were just on our way to Costco to pick up our year's worth of toilet paper like everybody else. It was broad daylight 1998 in New York, not 1928 in Alabama. Why us? Why me?
I never met Tyler Clementi, but as a black woman, I can relate to his experience. I am sure that Tyler also asked himself “why me?”. “Why am I the subject of homophobic vitriol. Why are people laughing at me because of who and how I choose to love? Why am I being bullied?”
Black History Month has ended, but please remember that we are all African-Americans being spat on at lunch counters in 1960, regardless of our skin tones. We are all homosexuals being attacked with baseball bats in Central Park in 1978, regardless of our sexual orientations. We are all German jews in 1940 being walked to gas chambers, regardless of our religions. We are all Marcelo Lucero being beaten to death in Suffolk County in 2008 for being Latino, regardless of our nationalities. We are all Japanese Americans being relocated to internment camps in 1942, regardless of our ancestral origin. We are all wheel chair bound and struggling to get from place to place in 1985, regardless of our ability to walk. We are all women and girls being raped every 107 seconds, regardless of our genitalia.
Why are we all of those people? We are effectually the same because we all know how it feels to be bullied. All bullying, whether attributed to race, sexual orientation, religion, gender, nationality, or physical ability, has the same root, insecurity manifesting as evil personified. All bullying has the same modus operandi, the creation of dehumanizing smear campaigns about the target group. All bullying has the same fuel, silent accomplices who do nothing because they think that someone else is being attacked.
Moreover, bullying spreads like a cancer moving to and from communities of color to gay communities to immigrant communities, and so forth and so on, if left untreated. This is why Martin Luther King told us that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.
But thankfully, all bullying also has the same solution, creating a culture of radical self-love, universal acceptance, and appreciation of difference. We can create that culture! Please see my TEDx talk on this very topic.