Sunday, December 27, 2015

Be W.E.I.R.D.


This week I want to take a minute to talk about something close to my heart. Be W.E.I.R.D. is an anti-bullying group I help put together here in Hawaii. We're just starting out. We don't even have a webpage up yet, but we do have a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/beweirdhi/). If you still have a Facebook, please take a moment to give the page a like.

Be W.E.I.R.D. was started in response to a lack of support here in the islands. There are very few groups out here to tackle such a huge problem. To be honest, I never really thought much about bullying until I ran into one of my former students at a soccer game. In a million years, I would have never guessed she was a victim of bullying. She explained to me that she was bullied out of school and had to switch high schools.

The school she was at didn't really do anything. Like most of the schools here, they would rather ignore the issue than admit there's a problem. She sought out support, but didn't find any. The things she told me blew my mind. I could not believe that happened to here. I was also upset that no help was available to her when she needed it the most.

Thus, Be W.E.I.R.D. was formed. Be W.E.I.R.D. is about being yourself and not judging others. We encourage people to stand up to bullies. We mostly use the page to promote anti-bullying posts and as a place for kids being bullied and their parents to message us. It's amazing how many kids have come to us. In just a few weeks time, we have talked with at least 20 young people, helped them in some way, and/or connected them with services that could help them tackle this problem. I don't know what the future holds for our tiny group, but I'm hopeful we will be able to reach many more youth in 2016.

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