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Remember it’s cool to be a N.E.R.D and stand up against bullying. Nice, Educated, Respectful, Determined

Posted: 2/19/2020

My name is Joshua Robert Thomas and I hope you will take a stand with me against bullying. The difficult thing about attending school today is that you see people putting others down, rather than picking them up. At my former middle school, there were a lot of fights and bullying. Going to school just to hang out with friends and learn was a hard thing for a lot of students, including me. Sad to say, but not much has changed as a current high school student. Since junior high, I have been thinking about how I can help stop bullying, not just at my school, but across the nation.

I have created a clothing line intended to raise awareness about bullying that happens across the globe. It is called Znerd. The Z comes from generation Z, which are children born in the early 1990’s-2010; we are also known as digital natives, the technical kids who help our parents. Our vision statement at Znerd is to promote bullying prevention with dedication, determination, and inspiration. The word N.E.R.D. stands for nice, educated, respectful, and determined, the characteristics that make our society a better place to live. If I can get students across the nation to understand this, together we can help prevent bullying and create a safe environment for those students with low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, anger, and rage.

As you take a look at the sweatshirt in the picture, I would like to explain my unique design. Please bring your attention to the confident young man on the front of my shirt; this is me and I represent confidence and style. The first line, Znerd worldwide generation, is a reference to bringing awareness about the dangers of bullying across the world. I included my zip code for Iowa City, Iowa to represent my home town, where I came up with the concept for Znerd. On the back, you will see the letters S.T.B. and the emoji that stands for ‘Stop the Bullying.’ The emoji gives a look that says please, in a stern expression, leave me alone I am sick and tired of being bullied. As a young teen, I really believe in the importance of helping to stop this tragic epidemic.

Many of us are familiar with the old saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” That saying may have worked for some kids, but today I find that the mean and destructive words coming from students who are bullies are doing more damage than sticks and stones could ever do. As a young entrepreneur, student, sweatshirt designer, and human being, my goal is to have companies and schools across the globe purchase these shirts, and stand up to bullying! Please contact [email protected] for more information. Remember it’s cool to be a N.E.R.D and to stand up against bullying: Nice, Educated, Respectful, and Determined!

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BULLY NO MORE! – A family musical that addresses bullying prevention

Posted: 12/10/2019

BULLY NO MORE! is a family musical with compelling characters and lively songs that celebrates the power of individuals to band together and stand up to bullying. The show inspires its audience to look out for one another, treat each other with kindness and respect, and “Hold On To Hope” in an imperfect world.

BULLY NO MORE! is appropriate for elementary, middle, high, and theatre camp students, and can be presented as a community service show by traveling children’s theatres, colleges, and community and professional theatres for younger audiences.

BULLY NO MORE! can also be presented as an interactive bullying prevention musical in elementary schools. The bullying prevention message is empowering throughout the school year. There is a BULLY NO MORE! Discussion Guide that can be used in conjunction with the musical in elementary schools.

The musical premiered in Vermont at The Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, a professional theatre that has hosted stars and symphony orchestras. BULLY NO MORE! sold out 13 shows and played to 3,000 audience members comprising children, families, and teachers. This is a family musical that can make a huge difference in children’s behavior!

For more information about the musical, visit

Watch this PSA with support from Daniel French, the Vermont Secretary of Education, Linda Johnson, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Vermont, composer, Jon Gailmor and creator/composer, Elaine Davida Sklar:

Also watch the wonderful and inspiring YouTube video of one of the songs in the musical, "I Feel Strong!" Bully No More! - I Feel Strong,

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Teen uses music to inspire hope

Posted: 12/10/2019

Please be advised, this article and music video contain sensitive subject matter about mental health and suicide.

Music and songwriting are great ways to express yourself. Emma is a 16-year-old from New Hampshire who started writing songs to work through her emotions, which has always been difficult for her. Emma says, “Songwriting has been my outlet and one of the most important things in my life, especially through my experiences with bullying, anxiety, and depression.” Emma wrote “The Death of a Taylor Swift Wannabe” in the hopes that her music could inspire others who are struggling. She dedicated the song to Taylor Swift because it was her music that first inspired Emma to start writing, and she believes that saved her life.

The video for the song was filmed with Emma’s friends from school and the social media messages seen in the video were not scripted. The messages are meant to show how harmful cyberbullying can be. “We felt like this video needed to touch the hearts of anyone that has ever been hurt by words and what the impact can be if we are not mindful of what we say, no matter if this is on social media or in person,” said Emma. The purpose of the storyline is to show how dark social media and cyberbullying can be. On the intense subject matter of the music video, Emma wants everyone to know, “Suicide is a reality that we hear about, and I have been bullied and have suffered from anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. I also know that I am not alone. There are so many teens out there suffering and I want to stand up and make a difference through my music.”

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Posted: 10/18/2019


The Family School Association Performing Arts Program of The Ethical Community Charter School, together with THISLEARNING® along with 72 students created the Award Winning Film LIKE US in a free afterschool program. LIKE US is a live action short film (45 minutes) and recent winner of 'BEST LOCAL FILM'' and 'BEST DIRECTOR OF A SHORT FILM' at the 2019 Golden Door International Film Festival. It was also nominated for 'FILMS THAT RAISE AWARENESS,' 'FILMMAKERS OF TOMORROW AWARD,' and 'BEST ACTRESS IN A SHORT FILM for Sofia Santomauro (age 10).

The non profit FSA Performing Arts Program at The Ethical Community Charter School in Jersey City, NJ (TECCS) has a mission to provide performing arts related experiences and opportunities to all interested students after school no matter their family economics.

LIKE US Overview

LIKE US is live action short film. It is a film for kids, by kids. The screenplay was written by ten students in grades 6-8 over a period of 10 weeks. It shows how a group of five students overcome the intimidation and intolerable cruelty by some of their peers The director is Professional Educator and Television host Kris Van Nest, also Executive Producer of the online media network THISLEARNING®. Assistant Director, Ann E. Wallace, is a published poet and Associate Professor of English at New Jersey City University. The project was produced by Middle schoolers and a growing group of volunteer parents lead by Kim Correro.

LIKE US Film Synopsis

The Shooting Star Youth Challenge is coming to town, and Cory, Fatin, Lana, Astrid, and Trevor have each been unable to find a team. In a chance meeting in the school office, the Principal asks the group of outcasts—rejected for their gender identity, disability, and personalities—to band together for the competition. Some of the students are not too happy to be forced onto a team of kids that no one else wants, and, believing the terrible things that other kids say about them, they are sure they will lose. They soon learn, however, that each one has a special talent and that the C Flats, as they have decided to call themselves, are a real contender. But as the big day approaches, the team members are shaken by comments made online and in person about them. Together they rebuild their confidence and are ready to compete. However, they soon learn that Lana has been facing a much larger challenge than shooting a basket or nailing a standup comedy routine, when, in a moment of desperation, she confides that she is homeless. Faced with a difficult dilemma, the team must decide where to put its efforts, on making it to States or on helping their friend against her wishes. When the group steps up to help their new friend, serendipitously aided by a group of stagehands who spread the news about Lana online, we see that what makes these kids winners are not the skills they bring to Shooting Star but the size of their hearts.

Bring LIKE US to Your School or Community

Help LIKE US raise awareness for bullying prevention by bringing the movie to your city and school. Email [email protected]


Read the article in March’s Macaroni Kid magazine, Film Program Teaches Kids More Than Just Film Making

Social Media
Instagram: @fsaperformingarts
Facebook: @fsaperformngarts

By: KC

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Sean's First Day

Posted: 6/17/2019

Sean’s First Day of School, produced by South African independent filmmaker Niki Gower, is a wonderful short film about the impact students have on creating a welcoming and caring school community, and how this can, in turn, help create a world without bullying.

This film was made by the students from a public secondary school on the main island of Mahé in the Seychelles, off the east coast of Africa. Niki explains, “I was approached by a teacher from Belonie Secondary School. Ms. Esther Fernandes-Villela wanted to work on a video project with a group of students who had shown an interest in arts and culture. We left it up to the kids to decide what the topic would be, with the only guideline being that it needed to address a problem or cause in their school or community. They chose bullying. With a loose script, we met up on a Saturday; the kids sacrificed their weekend to do so. We had a lot of fun putting this together and the children were very enthusiastic. The film was subsequently entered into the Seychelles Festival National Du Film d'Education, where it won first place. More importantly it was screened in a packed auditorium filled with school students, teachers, and parents—the audience it was intended for. I really hope that what we created goes on to educate and inspire thousands of others to stand up against bullying, in all its forms.”

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“Can We Create a World Without Bullying?” Pepperdine School of Public Policy Weighs in on The Debate!

Posted: 6/10/2019

On March 26th, 315 students packed Elkins Auditorium at Pepperdine University to hear the Pepperdine Waves Debate Team and students from the Woodlake Elementary “Let’s Argue” class debate the premise that we can “Create a World Without Bullying.” In addition to the debate, the Pepperdine School of Public Policy sent Dr. Luisa Raynal to give closing remarks and a master’s program student, Andrew Phillips, to look at translating conclusions into policy.

After watching the debate, receiving feedback from attendees, and using information found on, Andrew created a one-page summary to inspire the Pepperdine community to take action against bullying. While encouraging everyone to work together to change cultural and social norms, he also acknowledged that while “using education and civil discourse to promote social and emotional learning is an effective way” to create change around bullying, adults must also “model the behavior we want our children to emulate.”

Thank you, Andrew Phillips and the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, for inspiring change in your community and beyond.

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The Gemstone Heart

Posted: 6/7/2019

Hello, my name is Jaida Rogers.

The reason why I was interested in making the video about bullying is because I was bullied from 1st grade all the way until 8th grade. During this time, I would see other people around me getting bullied as well. Seeing that made me feel very sad and disappointed knowing that there are people out there other than me that were being bullied. But not only was I sad for those that were being bullied but also for the people that were doing the bullying.

I know that people don’t do something unless they have a reason for it. I believe that the people that are bullying others are going through something in their school or at home. In my film, that is part of the reason why I had the target show kindness to the person that was bullying her.

The reason the video is called Gemstone Heart is because the gemstone heart represents the personality and heart of the target. A gemstone is very hard to find and is therefore very rare. However, once you do and you get a good look at it, it's very beautiful and you wonder why the earth can’t have these stones all over the place and why they aren't easier to find. And this holds true for the victim as well in my film. The victim is very rare, meaning her personality and the way she views things is very hard to find, but once you find a person like her you become very impressed and fond of that person.

Thank you for taking the time and looking at my film.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does being kind impact a bullying situation?
  2. Does all bullying stop when someone is kind, and if not, what more can be done?

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Paper feathers show “No Place for Hate”

Posted: 6/6/2019

What happens when two teachers put their heads together to come up with a bullying prevention project for their students? More than 550 paper feathers decorated by students become a giant multicolored peace dove accompanied by the words “No Place For Hate.”

Hidden Valley Elementary School in Savage, MN, has a diverse student population that represents 20 languages. Art teacher Sara Merkel and school social worker Kristen Reichert thought it was important for their students to hear positive messages about kindness, acceptance, and inclusion within the school. They thought of a giant peace dove and chose 20 student leaders, called “student ambassadors,” to cut out 550 paper feathers and hand them out to individual students to color.

Those students, and the school’s faculty and staff, did not know what the purpose would be for the paper feathers project. Then, one day, those 550 feathers became a giant display near the school’s entrance and office. Parents, staff, and students from the entire school were surprised and in awe of the beautiful artwork and kind message.
“It’s really important for all kids to know that they’re welcome and safe and wanted here,” Kristen Reichert told the Savage Pacer newspaper, adding that the project taught students the “purpose here is to be kind and helping to our friends.”

Some of these ideas were inspired by Kristen, who attended PACER’s symposium and learned more about educational resources for bullying prevention.

This project impacted teachers and students. “You shouldn’t bully,” said Hanan Dayib, a fifth grader who participated in coloring one of the paper feathers. “It’s not really a nice thing.”

This art project is not the only activity aimed at helping students feel safe at school. Teachers, staff, and leaders throughout the school district have taken training to help participants become more culturally aware and sensitive to students’ needs. One outcome in Sara Merkel’s classroom is that she works to include a variety of cultures in her classes. For example, she recently included a Somali folk tale called “The Lion’s Share” as part of the classroom activities. By creating culturally diverse activities in class, students see that teachers are kind, accepting, and supportive people.

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Rocking Kindness

Posted: 6/5/2019

Grande Innovation Academy, in Casa Grande, AZ, made this video in response to the 'Rocking Kindness' theme they are celebrating during October's National Bullying Prevention Month. The 5th graders, with their science and math teacher, Mr. Reginald Parulan, wanted to share the important message of speaking up against bullying.

Duration: 7 minutes and 28 seconds
Actors & Actresses: 5th Grade Class 2017-2018 of Grande Innovation Academy
Videographer & Editor: Mr. Reginald Parulan, 5th Grade Teacher at Grande Innovation Academy

Discussion questions provided by the students:

  1. Why do we need to talk about bullying?
  2. What can you do to help someone (and be safe doing it) who is experiencing bullying?
  3. What can you do to help prevent or stop bullying at your school, online or in the community?

Mr. Parulan shared, "Let's all share the same goal of creating communities that are united in kindness, acceptance and inclusion."

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A celebration of unity

Posted: 6/3/2019

Students at Central High School in LaCrosse, Wisc., celebrated Unity Day on Oct. 19, 2016, by installing a 1,000-piece Unity Origami Peace Cranes Sculpture. This collaborative project was developed by members of the Art Club, led by teacher Lori Aschenbrener, and the Culture Club, Feminist Club, GSA-Gay-Straight Alliance, Chinese Club, and several non-club member students. They contributed to the school’s collection of 1,000 origami peace cranes as a symbol of unity in diversity and a community of compassion.

A special thank-you to the students who dedicated seven and a half hours of time to string and hang the cranes, and to all of the students and staff who contributed to the effort! Students and teachers shared that the project was great for the school community and that the creation of the origami cranes spread from student to student.

The project was inspired by the story of Sadako Sasaki, who lived in Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II. Before her death, she was inspired by the Japanese legend that if one folds 1,000 origami paper cranes, one would have their heart’s desire come true. Though Sadako died, the memory of her lives — her character and name live. Her story has been translated into many languages and students around the world read about her. She has become an inspiration to many whose efforts support peace and unity; that one’s effort does not go unnoticed.

Several students from Central High School shared their feelings about this experience:

“The whole process of making 1,000 cranes was a big task and the whole school pitched in to help. It was really awesome that we reached our goal. We, the students, were in charge. It was out of our creativity that we brought about the amazing unity at Central High.” —Peter

“I really enjoyed working on the paper crane project. I showed a lot of people how to make the cranes and some other kids took that skill and made more cranes for people in the community. One girl gave them to a person who was in the hospital and that made her day! The cranes brought happiness outside the school and into the community.” —Claire

“I connected to the 1,000 crane project because when I was in second grade through seventh grade I was bullied. Now I help support and protect every kid from being bullied or from becoming someone who bullies others, and I help them make friends instead.” —Kiya

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Submit a video, story, poem, artwork, or audio clip expressing how you feel about bullying, how you think it affects students and schools, what you have done to prevent bullying, or what others can do to prevent bullying.

[email protected]