While words can be used to do and create some amazing things, they can also be used to hurt or wound others. Bullying, whether physical or verbal, can affect people in ways we might never see.
According to DoSomething.org, 3.2 million students have reported that they were victims of bullying at some point in their lives: “Seventeen percent of American students report being bullied two to three times a month or more within a school semester.” A lot of times, bullying persists because people tend to ignore the situation instead of intervening. In fact, “one in four teachers see[s] nothing wrong with bullying and will only intervene four percent of the time.”
Recently, the NBA team The Golden State Warriors released a PSA entitled Not On Our Ground, Not In Our Town. The PSA states that the athletes are proud to stand with Not In Our Town’s movement to end hate and bullying. Members of the team took turns saying their piece in support of the program. One said, “A lot of things get said on the court, but what gets said on the court stays on the court. Life isn’t a game, and what you say in real life affects people in a real way, whether it’s online or in person, at the office or in school. Physical, verbal, and cyberbullying is a real problem.”
The players went on to say, “[In real life] there are no refs and no chance to just leave it on the court. Bullying should never be tolerated. Not on our ground, not in our town.”
Not In Our Town is a project that was created by a nonprofit called The Working Group in order to inspire people to stand up and take action against hate. The Not On Our Ground program also partners with Adobe in order to “educate youth on the causes, impact and solutions around violence and bullying and encourages people to be a witness and take a stand against hate, violence, and bullying.”
The program encourages others to take the pledge to stop bullying, largely by speaking up when they see someone being bullied or harassed, when they hear a rude comment or joke, or when they see awful messages being posted on social media.
In order to put an end to bullying we have to work together, speak up, and take the pledge “to stand up to all forms of hate bigotry, violence, and bullying. To not stay silent in the face of intolerance based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, religion, ability, or any other factor. If we see something, we say something. We will work together with our neighbors to create safer and more inclusive communities for all.”
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