The Great American NO BULL Challenge

The Great American NO BULL Challenge is student-led National Video Contest and Teen Video Awards show that brings awareness to the issue of cyberbullying in America. It was brought to my attention through The Unwritten Letters Project:

“It is my personal goal to make an impact on the bullied and the bullies to make them know that every person is worthy of their own life, their own voice, and the action to take is to share your voice in any creative way imaginable. Write! Act! Draw! Paint! Speak up for yourself and take ownership of your circumstances. Use this website and our resources to overcome any obstacles and become the stronger person you and I both know you are.”

Click here to read about The Unwritten Letters project and their Anti-Bullying campaign.

Bullying has been a part of my life for a long time, and it’s difficult to express just how much of an impact bullying can have on a teenager. In truth, it broke me; I struggled for a long time to deal with the consequences of being isolated and shunned by my peers, and it affected my life for a long time. It’s easy to assume that a throwaway comment will be forgotten, but cruel words can hang around in the brain for years. Cyber-bulling is something I have also experienced, and it was difficult enough to deal with as an adult, let alone as a teenager.

My advice to anybody being bullied is to remember that, one day, life will change. Times move, and one day these people won’t even remember what they did to you; so you shouldn’t give them the satisfaction of breaking your heart. Bullying isn’t your fault; you didn’t ask to be treated this way.

I know it’s so difficult to speak to somebody about being bullied. However, admission is not a sign of weakness, and being able to offload all the stress and pain on to somebody else can be a huge relief. It might not stop it happening, but having somebody who knows what you’re going through can get you through it. If you don’t feel like you can speak to somebody in ‘real life’, this is where The Great American NO BULL Challenge comes in.

“The goal of the NO BULL Challenge is to join America’s students, educators, counselors, organizations, communities, and corporate America together in an effort to enable real change at the student level.

Beginning January 15th, students in 6th-12th grade will have two months to create a 2-5 minute video with an anti-bullying theme. Students will submit their video to the NO BULL Challenge no later than March 14th at 11:59 PM PST. Check out the Cyberbullying 411 toolkits to learn everything you need to know in order to create your video. Beginning March 15th, each student will rally their friends, family, educators and community to vote for their video.

As a result of the viral voting period, fifteen finalists will be selected from the top 100 favorite videos by a panel of expert judges. The formal announcement of the NO BULL Finalists will occur on May 17th, National Cyber Safety Awareness day. All fifteen finalists are invited to attend the star-studded NO BULL Teen Video Awards in San Francisco. At the NO BULL Teen Video Awards show, you’ll get to see amazing artists perform live and meet & greet with your favorite athletes and celebrities on the red carpet. The NO BULL winning videos will be announced “live” at the Teen Video Awards, where your video will be introduced to the world. Inspiring America’s teens to stand up and bring an end to cyberbullying is what The Great American NO BULL Challenge is all about, and we need you to make it happen!”

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Thirty percent (30%) of U.S.students in grades six through ten are involved in moderate or frequent bullying and  at least 16 children kill themselves each year in the United Kingdom because they are being bullied at school.

  • 69% of children in the UK report being bullied
  • 87% of parents report that their child had been bullied in the past 12 months

There are a number of resources on the NO BULL Challenge website. You can take the pledge and take a NO BULL survey on cyber-bullying. If you want to share your story, you can do so here.
Personally, I found that writing has been an amazing help with my own bullying experiences. I kept a diary throughout the years I was bullied and, looking back, I can reflect on those experiences. It’s turned me into a stronger person, and taught me to be more caring to others. Writing is a fantastic way to express feelings, and you don’t ever have to show anybody. You can rip the writing up when you’re finished.

However, you can also have the opportunity to share your story and experiences via the NO BULL Challenge, and in an anonymous letter to The Unwritten Letters project. You can make a difference, and hopefully bullying will one day become a thing of the past.

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17 Comments

  1. Yeah, bullying really is not good. The saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words never hurt” is totally false. Words can hurt more than sticks and stones. Someone bullying with nasty words can cause life time hurt..

  2. Bullying is definitely one of those things that gets over-looked. I was always told to ignore the bullies, that they’d get fed up and go away – but that doesn’t stop the hurt and it doesn’t stop the bullying very quickly either. Even understanding the bully psychology, that in most cases they’re doing it to make themselves feel better, doesn’t help when in the pit of dispair due to their actions.

    I hope and pray that this campaign does what it is aiming to do, and that something similar can be done here in the UK – not just sporadically, but continually.

      • One thing that often doesn’t get seen is that the bullying can come from so-called friends.

        My friends eventually stopped when I got so pissed off with the one girl always stealing the long strap from my school bag that I lept over the table and started hitting & kicking her. It took three of my other friends to pull me off her…

        Of course, bullying when it’s an adult doing it to a child gets called abuse. Maybe one of the things to make it sound as serious as it is would be to stop calling it bullying and refer to it as abuse? Certainly the term bully and bullying makes it sound quite childish – to me at any rate.

  3. What an important post and message. I was bullied throughout childhood as well. I look some of those same people in the face every now and then. They live down the street. They of course don’t remember me but I sure remember they asses and what a living hell they made my life. But it’s cool. 20 years later, it doesn’t even matter.

  4. Pingback: Saturday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion « Clarissa's Blog

  5. I was tormented and bullied endlessly throughout all of my school years. It was so awful that I would dream of taking a gun to school. This was WAY before school shootings here in the US. I never hurt anyone with the gun in my dreams. But I made them listen to me and how I felt. Never want to go back to those days and I’m SO glad that I graduated before cyber bullying was invented.

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