You don't have to be the victim of bullying to join in. You don't even have to be dealing with meanness every day to be part of this -- because here's the deal:
In this movement we're trying to do these things:
* Make people aware that bullying is NOT okay, that it ISNT a "normal" part of growing up, and that it's a huge problem. Like 160,000 thousand kids staying home from school everyday because they're afraid of the mean kids. That kind of huge.
* Help kids who bully figure out why they're mean so they can stop.
* Help kids who are bullied find a way to take back the power to be themselves.
*Help the bystanders -- the ones watching it happen -- know what to do to help.
This campaign doesn't just say, "Bullying is bad and it shouldn't be happening!" It says, "These are some things you can actually DO to stop it!"
But nobody can do it alone. As the Code Card above says, "We're safer in numbers." We're more powerful when we work together. That's why I encourage mini-women like you to form "Tribelets" just as Tori and her friends do in the book So Not Okay (and if you haven't read it yet, why not?!)
A Tribelet is two or more girls who get together, download the instructions for "How To Form a Tribelet" found on the So Not Okay web page, and then join us here every Wednesday afternoon you can for group support and challenges so you can win prizes and make So Not Okay work where you are.
If you don't have someone to do this with, WE will be your Tribelet and support you as you stand up to bullying instead of standing by. Once you start doing that, other people will stand up with you and you WILL have a Tribelet.
Since we're just starting our Wednesday After School posts, let's take some first steps. Here's what to do:
1. If you haven't already, visit the So Not Okay web page and download the Pledge card. Print it out (black and white is fine if you don't have a color printer). Sign it. Then post a comment here to say, "I signed!" If you CAN, get a picture of you holding your pledge card and email it to me. Let's see how many we can get right here on Tween You and Me.
2. Then download the tips for standing up to bullying and, if you want to form a tribelet, the instructions for how to form one. Read it all.
3. Once you've formed your Tribelet, let us know here with a comment that tells how many people are in your group and why you've started one (there's bullying in your school, your church, your soccer team). WHEN YOU'VE MADE THAT COMMENT, I WILL EMAIL YOU FOR YOUR ADDRESS AND SEND YOU A POSTER FOR YOUR TRIBELET AND A BUTTON FOR EACH MEMBER.
(If you don't have a Tribelet you can still be a part of this and I'll send you a button. Just comment with why stopping bullying is so important to you.)
Once we get some people on board with the instructions above, I'll give you your first challenge. These are ways to put the SO Not Okay techniques to work and when you meet them you can win things like a Skype session with me, a set of Code Cards on good card paper, a copy of You Can't Sit WIth Us when it comes out -- and more.
Your biggest prize, though, will be when you help someone who's being bullied and he or she gets a big ol' smile and walks with head held a little higher. That's gonna be awesome.
So -- let's hear from you. Oh, and one more thing: you are ALWAYS welcome to share your stories of being bullied or seeing bullying or standing up to it. If you read other stuff on line that's helpful, comment with the link. This is a safe place for you to SPEAK up, and that may be the first step in STANDING up.
Okay -- the comment box is open!