B.A.N.D. Together to Be Bully Free
Every day, thousands of teens wake up afraid to go to school because of bullying they experience before, during, and after school hours! Bullying happens to be the most common form of violence to date in our society. It is increasingly becoming a rampant problem among youth today and affects 28% of students in grades 6-12 nationwide. Statistics show that 3.7 million youth engage in moderate to serious forms of bullying behavior while 3.2 million are victims. Between the years 1994 and 1999, it was reported that there were 253 violent deaths in schools due to bullying. It is quickly becoming a growing epidemic and needs to be stopped before any more young people must face the horrendous results of being bullied!
As Wyoming’s Miss Outstanding Teen, I plan to continue to work with today’s youth across my state, educating them about what bullying is, who can be affected, the consequences of bullying and how to take an active stand against it. As a victim of bullying myself, I know firsthand how devastating and isolating it can feel. Throughout this past year, I have been actively involved in beginning to create and organize a school-wide bullying program, in an attempt to decrease the amount of bullying within our school. Speakers, authors, and movie producers are being invited to visit our school next year to share their personal experiences with bullying, in order to try to provide a safe school climate for all students.
I plan to encourage and assist community organizations, in an attempt to incorporate a bullying curriculum in schools and youth organizations across my state. In addition, I plan to contact and meet with community and state leaders to challenge them to join in my fight against teen bullying! As a result of the recent media frenzy surrounding the movie, Bully, and as part of my requirements for Girl’s State, I have chosen to write a bill to create alternative rating systems for movies that may in fact help today’s youth see the world around them and guide them toward finding solutions in making it a safer, better place to live! Once written, I plan to submit my bill to the legislators in my state, as well as to Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, Rep. Cynthia Lummis and Gov. Matt Mead, in the hopes that they will pass my bill and allow this movie as well as other similar movies, to be viewed by youth to help prevent such acts from continuing! I firmly believe students everywhere need to have the opportunity to view this program, in order to help understand and combat this rampant problem facing today’s youth! Statistics have shown that youth in grades 6-12 are facing bullying on a regular basis in their schools. Waiting until the age of 17 to view this R-rated film may be too late to save someone from becoming yet another victim of bullying in our country!
The aspiration of Miss America’s Most Outstanding Teen is to “develop strong values, leadership skills, social conscience, self-worth, and conviction about each young lady’s own potential”. As a leader with strong values and convictions, I believe I am the best candidate for this role. My involvement and participation in numerous local and state activities and programs, as well as my plans for future involvement in the prevention of bullying among teens, has proven my ability to represent the state of Wyoming, as I strive to help youth gain an insightful awareness of the effects of bullying, and teach them how to B.A.N.D. Together to Be Bully Free in their schools and communities.