February 9, 2011 was National Stop the Bullying Day. Atlanta’s Ryan Cameron of V103 hosted a bullying town hall meeting.
Bullying is a growing problem for youth in elementary, middle and high schools. Raising awareness about bullies and techniques they use is becoming a major necessity in promoting teen safety. National statistics show that one-third of teens reported being bullied at school in 2009. The same study further demonstrated that most bullying occurs INSIDE schools. Yet only two out of 3 incidents of bullying are not reported. Females and white students report the highest incidence of bullying; and 44% of middle schools studied reported bullying. The statistics are astounding and fully link bullying to other related problems like sexual harassment and racial/ethnic tensions. Bullying is the way in which young people, particularly boys, use violence and the threat of violence to ensure that other children conform to social “norms”. Often these norms are gender specific, i.e., boys who are too much like girls get bullied and girls who are not girly enough get bullied.
For 2 hours V103 stopped playing music on February 9th to honor the IMPORTANCE OF THE SUBJECT AND TO ADDRESS THE IMPACT OF BULLYING AND SCHOOL VIOLENCE, providing education to prevent bullying and a resource guide to possible victims of bullies. The town hall was well attended with about 200 interested students, parents and concerned citizens participating. Featured guests included the Anti-Defamation League, Monique Rivarde, the mother of Bobby Tillman, the teen who was beaten to death, and the mother of Jaheem Herrera, the 11 year old who committed suicide after being bullied regularly in school. Bernard Ellis, MSV ‘s Men’s Education Coordinator, attended the town hall. Stopping the violence in schools and elsewhere is important to make sure this behavior is not perpetuated or escalated. A follow-up rally was held Saturday, March 5, 2011 from 12 am until 2 pm at the BEST Academy on Donald Lee Holloway Parkway.