Wear Orange for Unity Day! | Corona, CA

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time of year that we take pause to realize that bullying comes in many forms and is extremely hurtful, but we should all be willing to do something to prevent it from happening.

This year, Unity Day falls on October 20th and is one event that has been recognized in the U.S. since 2011 and is celebrated with individuals, schools, communities, and businesses wearing or sharing the color orange to unite for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion to prevent students being bullied. And what a great cause to get behind! After all the chaos that we’ve had to endure the past couple of years, it is important to look after each other in the most positive way possible.

I know what you may be thinking, why the color orange? Because October is an autumn month that includes Halloween, and Halloween’s mascot is the pumpkin, orange is the perfect warm color to represent that inviting feeling we are trying to convey to others. Not only that, but orange is a bright color that is associated with safety and visibility, and that is exactly the point we are trying to make – we need to radiate empathy and warmth towards others each and every day.

In the past, there have been many examples of groups and businesses participating. In 2013, the iconic Green Giant statue in Blue Earth, MN wore an orange toga and lit up the night sky with an orange glow. TLC of the Discovery Channel made their logo orange for the day. Others have tied orange ribbons to a fence or around a tree, offered an orange item for sale with proceeds to the National Bullying Prevention Center, or created a unity mural.

If you would like to learn more about Unity Day, 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.

Bullies Hurt Themselves too | Corona, CA

These days, it is easier to find bullies than heroes. But it shouldn’t be the way and we should focus 2020 on becoming a more tenderhearted society. Because bullying doesn’t just affect the victim, it affects everyone involved, including the bully. I know it may be tough to make sense of all of that, but if you think about it, it really isn’t tough to see. If you are a happy person, you have no reason no bully anyone. No, bullies are generally hurting themselves at the same time. 

Think about it – each time a bully hurt someone, they become more and more removed emotionally from the suffering and pain of their victims and begin to justify their actions to themselves by believing their victims deserve to be bullied. Eventually, they believe that the only way to get what they want from others is to be that bully. As a result, bullies fail to develop the social skills necessary for sharing, reciprocating, empathizing, and negotiating – the very things that form the basis for lasting friendships.

But that’s not all. There is a lasting affect that results if a child bully doesn’t change their ways. As they mature into adulthood, children who have bullied others often show higher rates of:

  • Aggression
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Carrying weapons to school
  • Dropping out of high school
  • Convictions for crime
  • Difficulty controlling their emotions
  • Traffic violations
  • Convictions for drunk driving
  • Depression
  • Suicides

Some adults who have been bullied as children may be more likely to allow their own children to bully others, thus raising a new generation of bullies. So, if you know a bully, take the time to reach out and understand why they feel the need to bully.

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

Don’t Be Scared of Bullies | Corona, CA

October marks National Bullying Prevention Month, but today is Halloween, so let’s go into this spooky night with the idea of having a really sweet time. No one should have to tolerate people being mean to them, and if they do, they need to know it will be okay. Not only will things get better, but there are things that can be done to get the bullying to stop. After all, this is the time of year we pretend to be anything we want to be – there is no place for bullies. So, as we gather together with friends to trick-or-treating, here are some tips to think about, in case someone tries to ruin your Halloween fun:

  • Stick with friends and try to avoid being alone in targeted areas like locker rooms, restrooms, and places the bully tends to hang around.
  • Be assertive and show confidence when standing up for yourself. Body language can work wonders – standing up straight and making eye contact will show you aren’t going to stand for it.
  • Ignore the bully by walking away or by not responding to their insults at all. They want to get a rise out of you.
  • Don’t seek revenge – it will only make things worse.
  • Don’t keep it a secret. Ask your friends or an adult for help.

If you see someone bullied:

  • Speak up for those being bullied.
  • Don’t join in the act of bullying and refuse to even watch someone being bullied.
  • Give support by talking to the person being bullied in private; extend your friendship and listening ear.
  • You should report any bullying you see to teachers or another adult.

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

Compassion Is Vital | Corona, CA

As much as we hate to admit it, summer is passing by so quickly. Soon the kids will be back at school and all the business of autumn is with us. Back to early mornings and after-school routines will be in full force, so many of us begin to adjust our schedules accordingly before the end of summer. This way, the transition is a bit easier once these school days are upon us. While we are preparing for waking up earlier and growing a bit smarter in the upcoming year, make sure that you also address the attitudes that will begin the year as well.

There’s no denying the fact that bullying is running rampant throughout our world. But it doesn’t need to trickle into our little human’s mind. They need to begin their next school year excited and ready to learn.

So, this school year we would like to encourage you to help your children become sensitive to the feelings that they see in their classmates, friends and family. Your sensitivity will be a big part of their developing it within themselves. If you are already helping a friend or family member as they are dealing with a problem, let them see what you are doing. It could be as simple as their knowing that you have been sitting with that friend or family member. When they begin to understand that you will always be there for them, perhaps not having to solve the problem, but just letting that person know they are cared for, your child will be on a great journey to compassion and caring that will serve them all their lives. Be that great example for your children at home.

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

Rise like a Phoenix | Corona, CA

When we are bullied as kids, it often feels like it’ll never end – that we will always be bullied, no matter what we do. Fortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Believe it or not, but there are many celebrities that have not only had bullies growing up but grew into fantastic adults. And while we may never rid the world of bullying, it is important to let our children know it isn’t the end of the world. Time heals all wounds – even ones caused by bullying. Still unsure? Take a look at some of our greatest bullied celebrities.

Elon Musk. Closer to being a real-life Iron Man than Robert Downey Jr., Elon was severely bullied, and was once hospitalized when a group of boys threw him down a flight of stairs, and then beat him until he blacked out. Musk is now a multi-billionaire and plans to colonize Mars by 2040.

Kate Middleton. A story similar to a Disney tale, the Duchess only lasted two terms at Downe House boarding school because fellow students tormented her. She now supports anti-bullying charities with her husband, Prince William.

Michael Phelps. The most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael was bullied about his lisp and his big ears. He told Yahoo Sports; “I kind of laugh at it now. I think it made me stronger going through that.”

Tony Hawk. When Tony Hawk was in high school, being into skateboarding was the equivalent of being into ultimate Frisbee today. In an interview, Hawk said; “[The bullying] gave me the fire to push it even further. I liked that it set me apart and I didn’t care what they thought.”

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

What You Can Do to Stop Bullying | Corona, CA

bullying

Bullying is a terrible thing to witness. Not only is it mean, but the victim of the bullying is hurt. When you do nothing, you send the message that bullying is acceptable. If you ignore or minimize the problem, victims will not believe that adults understand or care, or that they can help. And if you don’t intervene, their peers won’t either. So, when you see someone being bullied, take a moment to step in and help stop it. Not sure how to do it? Here are some simple ways to make a difference:

Intervene immediately. Stand between or near the victim and the bully, separating them if necessary, so as to stop the bullying behaviors. For young children, consider removing them from the situation to a “time-out” area or room. Remain calm but convey the seriousness of the situation. Announce that the bullying must stop. Describe the behavior you observed and why it is unacceptable.

Get help if needed. If the bully is using physical force, or there is more than one bully, you may need to find another adult to help keep children safe and protect yourself.

Don’t impose immediate consequences. Make sure you gather all the information before deciding the best course of disciplinary action and refrain from punishing the bully in front of peers.

Don’t ask children to “work things out” for themselves.  Bullying is different from an argument or conflict – it involves a power imbalance that requires adult intervention.

Give praise and show appreciation to helpful bystanders.  Children who try to help the victim or stop the bully are key to bullying prevention.

Stick around. Remain in the area until you are sure the behavior has stopped.

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

Students at Risk for Bullying | Corona, CA

There’s no doubt that bullying has become a problematic epidemic in the United States, but just how much of a problem has it become? Whether it be cyber bullying or bullying in real life, just about everyone has experienced some degree of bullying throughout their lifetime. Though some children and teens experience bullying at high rates and with more persistence than others, just about every child around the country is mostly likely going to have some type of connection to bullying.

Sadly, children and teens that are considered different than others are the most frequent targets of bullies. Youth with disabilities; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students; students that are overweight; and students that are perceived as weak or insecure are the most likely targets of bullies. However, even if a child does have these risk factors, it doesn’t mean they will get bullied.

The problem really stems from the fact that many bullied students will not speak up when it happens, for fear of retaliation, not being believed, etc. And sadly, we continue to hear how this bullying is affecting the students directly – at times having an incredibly tragic end. We, as adults, need to be able to make our children feel comfortable with speaking up without feeling scared to do so.

In addition, parents and teachers that are in close contact with children on the school’s campus need to help put bullying to an end. It takes a village to raise a child – we all need to come together to support and accept one another to help reduces these alarming statistics as a community.

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