Hello! My name is Jessica. I am a for North Branford Patch. My focus on this blog is taking a close look at bullying. I am very passionate about bringing awareness to the effects and causes of bullying while exploring anti-bullying initiatives that enhance the emotional and social well-being of kids.
The first time I became aware how bullying could have a huge impact on a person was when I was in 5th grade. I had heard about the Columbine High School massacre and I was fascinated by the story. Through hearing bits and pieces of what had happened, I thought to myself "How could this happen at a school?" and "Why would kids shoot other kids at school?"
In my young mind, a school was the ultimate safety-zone and the thought of violence at school was the strangest concept. I couldn't imagine such horror. Since that time, the number of incidents connected to school bullying has become a nation-wide issue.
Throughout middle school and high school, my awareness to acts of bullying increased. One evening, as I watched a nightly news program, a story featuring a 13-year-old boy named Ryan Halligan came on. I learned that Ryan had committed suicide because he was tricked online into believing a girl liked him. As a result of this trick, Ryan endured a massive amount of humiliation as his peers laughed at him, called him names and, ultimately, bullied him to death.
Fortunately, the majority of bullying situations do not end in suicide, however, Ryan's story inspired me to help kids learn to deal with bullying behaviors that they see. In order to connect with people and youth in particular, I wanted to create a website that would address personal experiences with bullying.
MyKindnessCounts.com was developed in an effort to encourage individuals to share ideas on what an effective anti-bullying program would look like or why they think various anti-bullying efforts aren't working. I feel that by sharing our own experiences with bullying, along with how it made us feel and what we would like to see happen, we may encourage and inspire other people to stand up against bullying.
I plan to use this Patch blog as a way to connect with people in the North Branford community and surrounding areas. I would love to hear your thoughts on bullying and whether you think this is an issue that needs to be addressed. If you are interested in what I'm doing, please head over to www.mykindnesscounts.com and have a look around.