Over 77 percent of students have been bullied verbally, mentally, and physically. Each day about 160,000 students miss school because of bullying or because of their fear of being bullied. The sad fact is that every 7 minutes a child is bullied on the playground, according to NoBullying.com.
“Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children,” said George W. Bush in a speech on Thursday.
With social media, online bullying makes the issue even more aggressive and worse with the anonymity in can provide. And as the number of children with conditions like food allergies continues to rise, these conditions are now weapons for bullies.
Most of us can remember a time in our lives when we were bullied. The year for me that was the absolute worst was the 6th grade. My teeth stuck out in every direction, and it gave classmates the weapon they needed. When I saw it happen in a 7th grade PE class to a girl named Michelle, I remember losing every ounce of fear and moving in to tell the other girls to stop it. It is the first time I remember being truly fearless. Years afterward, when my mother would bump into her mother, her mother would still speak about it. Her mother also shared that the 7th grade girl went on to be a revolutionary author in the tech world.
As a mother of four, I’ve seen it too many times to count. When things got really bad during the middle school years, we took it to the school principal, and they did not want to acknowledge that they had a problem. Even as administrators, they didn’t want to stick their necks out.
Sadly, they are not alone, as this anti-bullying PSA from Burger King conveys.
I have never once shared anything Burger King on these pages, but this issue transcends food politics. If we are going to tackle any of the challenges facing our country, it has to be together.
The irony in sharing this is not lost on me. In the early years of my work, an advertising agency that handled Burger King’s account was challenged because of the friendship I had with one of the agency’s founders. That friend went on to leave the agency and speak the truth.
Each time one of us has the courage to stand up for someone else, to speak the truth, it inspires others to do the same. Courage is contagious, and if Burger King can do the right thing here, they have the ability to do it in other places, too.
I’ve helped and we’ve seen many multinational food companies embrace the changing dietary needs of the 21st century consumer. They can obviously do it, too, as this so clearly demonstrates.
So please take a moment to watch this. Bullying is toxic. Please share it with your kids, so that we can #BeStrong together.