Cyber Bullying: What to Look for and How to Stop It | Corona, CA

March 23, 2022 | Beau Yarbrough, Los Angeles Daily News

Most students report having been cyber bullied, but some schools have been able to reduce incidents by hiring additional counselors and creating online portals to report bullying and putting links to them everywhere.

(TNS) — Today’s kids face bullying and other dangers in two worlds, one online and the other offline.

“Parenting is parenting and digital spaces are just another place that kids hang out,” said Stephanie M. Reich, professor of education at UC Irvine.

A new Southern California News Group analysis shows that 33.5 percent of California secondary students reported being bullied or harassed in the past 12 months in an anonymous survey distributed in three-quarters of California school districts.

But the same kind of practical advice parents give their children before heading to school or a friend’s house can also protect them from cyber bullying online.

“When your kid is little and they want to go to the park, you don’t just open the door and say ‘There you go,’” Reich said.

According to a survey conducted between May and June 2021 by the Cyberbullying Research Center, 23.2 percent of children in America had been cyber bullied, with the highest numbers experienced by 15 year olds, 27.7 percent of whom had said they’d been bullied.

Cyber bullying can take many forms, from messages or social media posts intended to upset the target, online gossip, recording and posting offline bullying online, or impersonating bullying victims or creating doctored images to defame them.

In a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, 59 percent of teens surveyed said they’d experienced cyber bullying at some point.

“People always think about it as this dark shadowy thing that nobody is aware of that’s somehow different than what bullying is like,” Reich said. “But cyber bullying is a lot like in-person bullying.”

The consequences of cyber bullying, however, can be more severe than offline bullying, according to the National Institutes of Health. Cyber bullying victims are more likely to suffer from depression than those who are bullied in other ways, for example.

There are school districts in California that have much lower reported rates of bullying — some as low as one-third the statewide average. The rates are typically a result of improving school mental health climates, hiring additional counselors and implementing more robust anti-bullying policies and procedures.

More and more, school districts are taking what happens online as seriously as what happens on campus, according to Loretta Whitson, executive director of California Association of School Counselors.

“I can tell you that, many times, kids were pretty upset about being suspended when they (bullied) online, when they were at home,” she said. “But it disrupted education, and that was the rule.”

Districts with low rates of reported bullying often create online portals to report bullying and put links to them everywhere, including on students’ Chromebooks or other district-issued devices, by posting QR codes around campus and placing links on district and school websites. They also sometimes monitor how students use district devices and Internet use, flagging signs of bullying.

Jurupa Unified in Riverside County has both widespread links to the district’s bullying reporting line and uses software to flag when students visit inappropriate websites, including those dealing with drug use or self-harm.

The reporting tools have been getting a workout in the past two years.

“Since the pandemic, even during the virtual year, the actionable reports that have been put in have greatly increased,” said Monty Owens, the district’s director of educational equity.

The biggest way the districts combat cyber bullying, though, is the same way they combat it offline: By changing the school and district culture.

“One of the key characteristics of schoolyard bullying is that there’s a bunch of bystanders standing by, watching, not doing anything,” Reich said. “It’s the same in digital spaces. We want to train kids to intervene.”

That training is taking place in school districts with lower bullying rates. But Reich says there’s more work to do off school grounds to combat bullying.

“It’s really about a community that doesn’t tolerate it on the playground and they don’t tolerate it in digital spaces,” she said.

To get ahead of the issue, Reich said children should learn empathy to help prevent cyber bullying.

“If you’re empathetic, you’re not going to hurt others online and you’re less likely to tolerate it happening to other people online,” she said.

And that includes empathy for the bullies, too.

“Cyber bullies are often cyber-victims themselves,” she said.

Plus, she said, “they often have households that are not great. They have very neglectful parents or very laissez faire ones. They’re usually bullies because they’re trying to assert control.”

Reich believes parents should teach their children to be aware of the possible dangers online and how to avoid them, as well as develop trust with children so they are willing to share about things that concern or upset them.

“If you cultivate a high quality relationship with your child, you can have those conversations with them, whether it’s about digital spaces or offline,” Reich said.

With her own children, she gave her kids access to digital devices and the Internet gradually, based on their developmental stage. And just like talking about the hazards one could encounter on the way to the park, she spoke to her children about how algorithms for various social platforms shove engaging content at users without any concern about whether it’s healthy or accurate.

“We’re just trying to cultivate our kids being conscious and aware when they’re using devices,” she said.

And for parents looking for specific practical advice, the Boy Scouts — who have an online safety training course for scouts as young as first grade — have some tips:

Common types of cyber bullying

  • Flaming, trolling or trash talking by sending or posting hostile messages intended to upset others
  • Recording someone being harassed or bullied, then posting the video online for public viewing
  • Identify theft or impersonation
  • Doctored images
  • Physical threats
  • Spreading rumors or public shaming

Signs a child may be a victim of cyber bullying

  • Avoids computer, cell phone and other devices
  • Appears stressed when receiving an email, instant message or text message
  • Withdraws from family and friends
  • Reluctant to attend school or social events
  • Avoids conversations about their computer use
  • Exhibits signs of low self-esteem, including depression or fear
  • Has declining grades
  • Has poor eating or sleeping habits
  • Acts secretive when online

What to do if your child is being cyber bullied

  • Encourage your child not to respond to the bully
  • Do not erase the messages or pictures, and take screenshots and save them as evidence
  • Try to identify the individual doing the cyber bullying, even if the cyber bully is anonymous
  • If the cyber/gaming bullying is criminal — such as threats of violence, extortion, obscene or harassing phone calls or text messages, stalking, hate crimes or child pornography — contact the police

This story is part of a 2021 Data Fellowship with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism.

If you would like to learn more about random acts of kindness, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

It’s Time the World Stands Up to Bullying | Corona, CA

When it comes to bullying, there isn’t just the bullied that is affected. Of course, the victim hurt on many different levels. But the bully is also affected – after all, hurt people hurt people. Even those that are a witness to said bullying are affected. No one likes to see someone hurting. Therefore, it is so important that we combat bullying any way we can.

In the United States alone, 20 percent of children between the ages of 12 and 18 say they have experienced some type of bullying. That is a heartbreaking statistic. But if you think of it on a global scale, one-third of the world’s youth are bullied. Those who did the bullying had more social influence, more money, or were physically stronger than the person they bullied. You see, they have this idea that they’re “better” than you. And unfortunately, it can happen at any point in time. The bullying will take place in a school cafeteria, hallway, classroom, school grounds, or bathroom. Some bullies also use texting and online platforms to target their victims.

But there is hope… In 2008, Canada celebrated the first International Stand Up to Bullying Day. It started in February, but it is celebrated twice a year. And today is that day. Schools around the world are celebrating this anti-bullying tour de force by wearing a pink shirt to spread awareness of this very important cause. Because this can’t be done by one student alone – we all need to stand up to bullying if it’s ever going to stop.

So, wear that pink shirt with pride and put your foot down against bullying.

If you would like to learn more about random acts of kindness, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

My Big Idea: Anti-Bullying Software for the Classroom | Corona, CA

OCTOBER 12, 2022 | by ALENE BOURANOVA

It’s no secret that bullying is still prevalent in classrooms. In fact, one in five children report being bullied during their school years.

It’s also not a secret that thanks to staff shortages and budget cuts, teachers and counselors are increasingly being asked to cover more and more students, making it easier for instances of bullying to slip through the cracks.

That’s where Brave Up comes in.

The software, which Juan Ramirez (Questrom’21) and Enrique De Lima (CAS’21) helped bring to market, is aimed at students and counselors to help predict, detect, and prevent bullying and cyberbullying inside K–12 classrooms. Brave Up launched in early 2022 and is in use in 150-plus schools across both the United States and Latin America, where much of the leadership team is from.

Comprehensive anti-bullying software has been a long time coming in the education technology space, says Ramirez, Brave Up’s head of revenue and strategy. And particularly now, with students back in classrooms after COVID lockdowns and struggling to adjust to a changed social landscape.

To continue reading this article, click here.

If you would like to learn more about random acts of kindness, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

School Attributes Anti-Bullying Setting for Student Success | Corona, CA

Hidden Treasure Christian School wants to make mission more visible

By Myra Ruiz | Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 5:00 PM PDT

TAYLORS, S.C. (FOX Carolina) – When John Vaughn, then a minister at Faith Baptist Church, started Hidden Treasure Christian School, he had his daughter’s best interests in mind.

“My dad didn’t want me in the public school system because other children would make fun of me and I would not learn about God,” Becky Vaughn told FOX Carolina.

On May 20, 1978, a house fire left Vaughn with third-degree burns on 95 percent of her body. Her mother, Brenda Vaughn, also survived the fire with third-degree burns to 65 percent of her body.

Not only did the pastor want a bully-free and academically-fulfilling education for his daughter but also one that would instill Christian values. Vaughn said she is grateful for the education she received.

“It helped me to have a biblical perspective to know that God had a purpose and a plan for my life,” Vaughn said.

When the school opened in 1981, its only two students were Vaughn and a 13-year-old girl with Down Syndrome. The next year, enrollment doubled and then kept growing in subsequent years. Today there are 60 students at the school – each diagnosed with a special need that may be physical, emotional, mental, intellectual or a combination of any of these.

Bullying has not been an issue here and we pray it never will be,” Dr. Carl Herbster, Hidden Treasure Administrator, told FOX Carolina. “We’re here to help parents raise their children in a way that would accomplish the greatest potential for that young person.”

Hidden Treasure customizes each student’s curriculum to fit individual needs. The low student-to-teacher ratio and special attention given to each pupil’s learning process have led families from other states to choose Hidden Treasure.

Veronica Smith moved from Atlanta. After touring the school, she realized that Hidden Treasure would be the best place for her 16-year-old daughter, Teagan, who is considered low-verbal.

“I love the school,” Smith said. “Her reading has improved. Her math has improved. Her writing has improved. Her confidence in herself has improved.”

The yearly tuition at Hidden Treasure is $21,000. As a private school, it does not receive any state or federal funding. The school raises money for scholarships, so families aren’t excluded due to financial need.

“We don’t want (Hidden Treasure) as a ministry be a hidden treasure,” Herbster said. “We want to develop the hidden treasure in every young person that comes to us.”

Copyright 2022 WHNS. All rights reserved.

If you would like to learn more about random acts of kindness, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Random Acts of Kindness Day Should Be Year-Round | Corona, CA

Have you ever had someone randomly do something nice for you? Have you ever done something nice for someone out of the blue? It’s one of those simple ways you can brighten not only someone else’s day, but your day as well. There’s just something about making someone happy that can make your insides feel nice.

February 17th is known as National Act of Kindness Day. Sure, doing something nice for someone can, and should, happen every day of the year. But it’s a holiday that was created in New Zealand by Josh de Jong that has spread across the globe. And for good reason – taking a moment to think about someone else is something the world needs, especially after the rough time we’ve all had dealing with the pandemic and its aftereffects. In fact, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation celebrates a whole week (February 13 – 19, 2022) because they believe in kindness and dedicated themselves to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness.

So, what are you going to do to celebrate this very kind holiday? The effort can be as simple as a smile to a stranger – smiles go a long way for someone that is feeling blue. It isn’t a monetary thing; the point is to give someone the “warm and cozies” by your unexpected gesture. If you want to jazz up your good deed ideas, here’s a quick list:

  • Pay for the coffee or meal of the person in front of you in line.
  • Leave a kind note for someone.
  • Share words of encouragement.
  • Drop off some groceries at the local food pantry.
  • Mail a “thinking of you” card to someone you’ve not to talk to in a while.

If you would like to learn more about random acts of kindness, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

How to Avoid the Haters | Corona, CA

We’ve all heard the term before, especially online. “Hater” is a new word used to describe a bully. They use hurtful and negative comments to not only bring someone down but make themselves feel better about themselves. It can be online, in your personal life or affecting something or someone you love. If online, they are often anonymous. Keyboard warriors, if you will. But a bully can be virtually anyone. Like bullying, hater behavior is something that a person does – it is not who they are, and it can be changed.

But why do they do it? Haters often pick on people whom they perceive as being different from themselves. When inflicting these hurtful words, they understand that they are upsetting, can trigger feelings of anger, hurt, and confusion, and cause the person being criticized to question their self-worth and behavior.

Because it is often experienced online, it can be difficult to deal with a hater. Social media platforms are trying to monitor this, but it is almost an impossible task. In fact, there are a few ways you can avoid the haters in your everyday life. But there are some tips to consider if you’ve found you have a hater on your hands:

  • Ignore it and walk away without reacting or responding.
  • Block anyone online who are making negative or hateful comments on your posts or account, take screenshots and report them.
  • Be kind and respectful – killing them with kindness is a great way to not let it affect you emotionally.
  • Stick with supporters because there is strength in numbers.
  • Remind yourself that comments from a hater are a reflection of them, not you.
  • Understand criticism can be a sign of pain.
  • Acknowledge your feelings.
  • Keep being you.

If you would like to learn more about bullying prevention tips, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Nation Lights Up Blue as STOMP Out Bullying Kicks off 15th Annual World Bullying Prevention Month | Corona, CA

By STOMP Out Bullying / Sep 30, 2021 | NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/

October is World Bullying Prevention Month, an initiative that began 15 years ago by the leading anti-bullying non-profit organization STOMP Out Bullying. World Bullying Prevention Month is celebrated when students, schools and communities wear blue to help STOMP Out Bullying.

During October, students, schools, and communities all over the world will unite against bullying, donning the symbolic color of blue to highlight bullying prevention. STOMP Out Bullying is calling on everyone to stand in solidarity with those who experience bullying in all its ways, whether cyberbullying, hatred, discrimination, racism, cruelty, or exclusion, making it the day that bullying prevention is heard around the world.

“In response to all forms of bullying, we must end the hate and ‘Change the Culture’ together,” noted Ross Ellis, CEO of STOMP Out Bullying. “We can only stop these cruel and violent behaviors through the promotion and practice of civility, diversity, equity, equality, inclusion, and unity.”

In addition to schools across the country, dozens of landmarks and iconic buildings in the U.S. have signed on to light up blue or #BlueUp in support of the cause, including MetLife Stadium (NJ), NASCAR Hall of Fame (NC), Navy Pier in Chicago (IL), Niagara Falls (NY), and many more. Throughout the month, more organizations will pledge to #BlueUp, and all are encouraged to go blue or wear blue to send a message that bullying must end.

The month-long, anti-bullying movement kicks off at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 3, when California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), official pizza of the Los Angeles Dodgers, will welcome STOMP Out Bullying Youth Leaders to the field at the Dodgers’ last game of the regular season. Youth Leaders Elena Pass Brown of New York, Kurtis Elfring of Arizona, Emma Farley of New York, and Jace Izuno of California will join CPK CEO Jim Hyatt in throwing out the game’s first pitch in front of a sea of Dodger blue.

In addition, CPK has launched a nationwide fundraiser at all its U.S. locations, donating a percentage of sales during October to STOMP Out Bullying. Full details of the fundraiser are available through the earlier CPK announcement. CPK will join other U.S. landmarks in the #BlueUp lighting campaign, as five of its retail locations in California go blue with blue-lit exteriors.

Other landmarks and buildings participating in #BlueUp include: 35W Bridge (MN), Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf (MA), Caesar’s Superdome (LA), Delaware Legislative Hall (DE), Duke Energy Center (NC), Electric Tower (NY), FMC Tower (PA), Houston City Hall (TX), Miami Tower (FL), Mid-Hudson Bridge (NY), Nashville State Capitol (TN), Oklahoma City Sky Bridge (OK), One & Two Liberty Place (PA), Peace Bridge (NY), Tennessee Tower (TN), The Wheel at Island in Pidgeon Forge (TN), Willis Tower in Chicago (IL). For a full list and more information, visit STOMPoutbullying.org.

About STOMP Out Bullying

Created in 2005, STOMP Out Bullying™ is the leading national nonprofit dedicated to changing the culture for all students. It works to reduce and prevent bullying, cyberbullying, and other digital abuse, educates against homophobia, LGBTQ+ discrimination, racism and hatred, and deters violence in schools, online and in communities across the country. In this diverse world, STOMP Out Bullying promotes civility, inclusion, and equality. It teaches effective solutions on how to respond to all forms of bullying, as well as educating kids and teens in school and online. It provides help for those in need and at risk of suicide, and raises awareness through peer mentoring programs in schools, public service announcements by noted celebrities, and social media campaigns.

For Media Inquiries Only: Jessica del Mundo: jessica@10storyhouse.com or media@stompoutbullying.org

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nation-lights-up-blue-as-stomp-out-bullying-kicks-off-15th-annual-world-bullying-prevention-month-in-october-301388610.html

If you would like to learn more about STOMP Out Bullying events , contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

When It Comes to Bullying of LGBTQ Teens Local Politics Matters | Corona, CA

By Cara Murez, HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Youth who identify as LGBTQ+ suffer more bullying at their schools when they live in areas with politically conservative voting records, a new study finds.

School boards should do more to implement policies that go beyond minimum protections for LGBTQ+ youth, regardless of political affiliation, the researchers suggested.

“To my knowledge, nobody has really looked at this connection between a school district’s political attitudes and the experiences of LGBTQ+ students in schools,” said study co-author Paul Kwon, a professor of psychology at Washington State University. “This project highlights an inequity that is not talked about a lot and shows the need for more explicit and inclusive anti-bullying legislation and policies that help mitigate the risks to LGBTQ+ youth, regardless of district political attitudes.”

The study examined school district voting records in the 2016 presidential election, as well as bullying experiences in schools and mental health outcomes of LGBTQ+ students in Washington state using the 2018 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey. The survey included 50,000 students in grades eight to 12, asking about sexual and gender identity, bullying and whether or not teachers intervened during instances of bullying. About 20% of the students included in the survey identified as being LGBTQ+.

Researchers found that LGBTQ+ students are at a higher risk for psychological distress and suicidal thoughts as a result of bullying, particularly in school districts that voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2016 election. These students also reported their teachers were less likely to intervene in instances of bullying than students who responded from more liberal voting districts. The study only found an association between political leanings, bullying and teacher intervention; it wasn’t designed to prove a cause-and-effect link.

In areas where teachers intervened almost always, instances of bullying for LGBTQ+ students matched their non-LGBTQ+ peers, whereas without intervention the LGBTQ+ students reported more bullying.

“This was especially prevalent in more conservative school districts where LGBTQ+ youth report less teacher intervention despite experiencing more bullying,” Kwon said in a university news release. “Over 35% of youth in our study are students in a conservative-leaning school district, possibly placing them at greater risk for more bullying experiences and higher psychological distress.”

The researchers suggested school policy should include explicit parameters for training and education for teachers regarding LGBTQ+ bullying, as well as steps for teachers and administrators to intervene following LGBTQ+ bullying experiences. All school websites should explicitly describe anti-bullying policies as they relate to LGBTQ+ youth using specific examples, the authors said.

“We also recommend educators discuss anti-bullying policy with students and families at the start of each school year, while concurrently highlighting LGBTQ+ identities, particularly in conservative districts,” Kwon said. “After all, students have little choice in the school they attend, almost no choice in the school district they belong to and are unable to vote until they are 18. Thus, they are subjected to the environment of the school and broader culture of the school district chosen for them.”

The findings were published recently in the journal Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy.

The Trevor Lifeline provides LGBTQ+ individuals with crisis intervention and suicide prevention help.

SOURCE: Washington State University, news release, July 19, 2021

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying efforts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Anti-Bullying Event to Host Special Guests, Celebrities | Corona, CA

By Susan Canfora | Staff Reporter

Bodyguard Bubba Almony offers tips to students at the R.J. Martial Arts’ School of the Elites summer camp in Selbyville, teaching them the skills he said can help them avoid being bullied.

A message against bullying, and assurance that help is available, will be the focus of a regional event planned for Saturday, Aug. 28, at the Worcester County (Md.) Recreational Center in Snow Hill, Md.

Organized by local bodyguard Bubba Almony, it will feature speakers including Khalilah Ali, widow of boxing champion Muhammad Ali and mother of four of his children. She herself has a third-degree black belt in karate, earned a ninth-degree black belt, has appeared on the cover of Ebony magazine seven times and appeared in the movie “The China Syndrome.’

Former Baltimore Ravens football player Jacoby Jones will be there, as well as Al “Hondo” Handy, former head of recreation and parks in Ocean City, Md., who was named the Ocean City Citizen of the Year in 2015 and who will talk about sportsmanship.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford have been invited, and the mayors of both Pocomoke City, Md., and Snow Hill will attend, with Jennifer Jewell, mayor of Snow Hill, presenting a proclamation designating Aug. 28 as Bubba Almony Day.

“I am a big advocate of anti-bullying,” Almony said. “Bullying is prevalent all across the nation. I see it when I travel as a bodyguard. It’s in prisons, in the military. There is police brutality. It is happening everywhere.

Bullying is something we can’t tackle alone,” he added. “We need everybody’s help. Our goal at this event is to bring an anti-bullying message to the community. We will also talk about good, positive community policing. We will have dignitaries from the fire departments there, from the police departments.

“We want everybody to come and be heard, be seen and know people care about you and what you are going through. Our speakers will give encouragement to youth and talk about why this event is so important. They will talk about themselves. Dr. Ali will talk about her experiences growing up with bullying, why it’s important to have faith and never give up,” he said.

Vendors will provide information about how people can find help if they are bullied, as well as for mental-health concerns. The Recreation Center’s concession stand will be open, and the Mister Softee truck will be on the grounds.

Adriano ‘Bubba’ Almony, a part-time resident of Ocean View, is a professional body guard. He was named LV Magazine’s Humanitarian of the Year and this summer is teaching local kids how to avoid being bullied.

Following what Almony called “an outdoor fanfest” at noon, to give those attending the opportunity to meet the guests, doors will open at 3:30 p.m., and a celebrity basketball game will take place at 5 p.m.

Admission for the event costs $20, or $40 for a VIP ticket that allows ticketholders to sit near the basketball players and take photographs with them. See www.bubbaalmony.com for more information.

The winning basketball team will receive a trophy, and proceeds from the event will benefit organizations that work to improve mental health and to fight cancer and bullying. Almony said he hopes to raise as much as $50,000 and expects 2,000 people to attend from Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

Other guests will include former NFL offensive tackle Vinston Painter; 12-year-old Samaya Clark-Gabriel, an athlete and actress, and the only child to perform with the Harlem Globetrotters; Jonte Hall, the shortest Harlem Globetrotter, at 5 feet, 2 inches tall. The guest list also includes 14-year-old Demarjay Smith, known as “the Young Jamaican Trainer,” who, at age 8, made a video and gave a motivational speech about being healthy and fit, causing it to go viral and getting him an invitation to be a guest on the “Ellen” TV show; and officer Tommy Norman, who has worked for the North Little Rock, Ark., police department since 1998 and received national attention for charitable actions toward youth.

Almony said he’s hoping to see the U.S. Army National Guard land a Black Hawk helicopter at the event.

Sherman, the Delmarva Shorebirds mascot, will be there, as well as Salisbury University cheerleaders and a Salisbury Zoo reptile display.

To protect against transmission of the coronavirus, masks will be recommended indoors and everyone’s temperature will be taken at the door. Hand sanitizer will be available, and the facility will the cleaned throughout the day.

“Bringing all these people together, we want to show those who have been bullied or have other issues that there are others that care about them, that love them, that want to treat the issues they are having as their own. We are ready to help them in their battles, to share our examples and experiences,” Almony said.

“If people come to this event, they could get skills that could save their lives and make their community more tightly knit.”

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying efforts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Sesame Street Tackles Anti-Asian Bullying with ‘Proud of Your Eyes’ Video | Corona, CA

By Bianca Brutus | June 25, 2021, 9:14 AM PDT

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street,” recently released a video focused on the experiences of Asian American children as part of an ongoing initiative to help families have honest conversations about race.

In “Proud of Your Eyes,” the characters Wes and Alan help their friend Analyn, who is Filipino American, after she was teased about the shape of her eyes. They sing a song together about how their eyes are beautiful and how eyes can tell the story of their family. The video is part of Sesame Workshop’s program “The ABCs of Racial Literacy,” which provides an educational curriculum on racial justice for young children.

The song includes lyrics such as, “Your eyes tell the story of your family. They show where you came from, and how you came to be. The color, the shape and the size should always make you proud of your eyes.”

According to a recent study conducted by Sesame Workshop, 86 percent of children say they believe people of different races aren’t always treated fairly, and parents reported that close to half of these children had personally experienced some form of discrimination.

New videos with Sesame Street Muppet friends include Breathe, Feel, Share, in which Wes, Abby, and Elijah discuss an incident that happened at school and a strategy to cope with hurtful situations.

Sesame Workshop also released online articles, guides and activities to help families continue the conversation about combating racism. The new resources were created with guidance from the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families along with several other racial equity groups.

“The reality is that many children grow up experiencing racism, including Asian American children who for years have reported high levels of racial harassment — a number exacerbated by heightened xenophobia and scapegoating during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Anita Gundanna and Vanessa Leung, co-executive directors of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, said in a statement. “With a long history of building trust with families, Sesame Workshop is the ideal organization to engage parents and caregivers in critical conversations with their little ones, help families cope with the harms of racism, and help build solidarity among communities.”

“Having open conversations with children about race and racism is critical, not only for building understanding and empathy but also for beginning the healing process for children who experience racism,” Gundanna and Leung, who served as advisers on the new Sesame Workshop resources, said.

Alan Muraoka, the Japanese American actor who has played Alan, the owner of Hooper’s Store, on “Sesame Street” since 1998, assisted in creating storylines centered around diversity and discrimination on the show. Last year, he co-directed a special on racism entitled “The Power of We.”

“To be able to see so many different types of people represented is super important,” Muraoka said in an interview with NBC’s “TODAY” show in 2019. “So, for me, being Japanese American, you know, to be sort of the Asian American representation on the show is so important, and I’ve had so many Asian American parents come up and say how much that meant to them. But I feel like I’m just another person in this beautiful fabric that we’ve woven and created.”

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying efforts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.