News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Letters

July 28, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: July 28, 2012

Trying to make a difference on bullying

 

My name is Mercedes McCall. I am 14, and I am looking forward to my freshman year at West Vigo High School. Before I enter high school, I want to share with you a project I started while I was a student at West Vigo Middle School. The Vigo County School Corp. has an anti-bullying program called HERO (Helping Everyone Respect Others). You may have seen the billboards around town. I wanted to add a student-led anti-bullying piece to it, so I started HEROES in Action at my school.

First of all, you might find it interesting that I have not only been bullied, but I have also been the bully. I used bullying as a self-defense, and because it made me feel more confident about myself. It didn’t make me feel happy about myself inside, though. After years of doing that, I decided to stop bullying and speak out against the problem.  

The first thing I did was share this idea with my teacher, Mrs. Melanie Beaver. She encouraged me to meet with some of my other classmates to form the group. Together, we invited Miss Tante Robinson of Girls of Excellence and rapper LG Wise to speak to all seventh-graders about bullying. The next thing we did was invite students to try out for parts in a Reader’s Theater performance of the book called “ONE” by Kathryn Otoshi.

I presented a grant proposal for this project to Wabash Valley Community Foundation, and the idea was funded. I wanted to perform for younger students, because I think a lot of bullying starts in elementary school. We traveled in a school bus to the three elementary schools that feed in to West Vigo Middle School. Those schools are Sugar Creek Consolidated, Fayette Elementary, and West Vigo Elementary.

We also performed at the Vikes & Tykes Childcare Center at West Vigo High School. I think the young kids really understood our message about bullying. The grant paid for our transportation, performance props, and a copy of the picture book for each school’s library where we visited.

I would like to thank the Wabash Valley Community Foundation for supporting my project idea. I also want to thank the elementary principals for allowing us to visit their schools: Mrs. Marrs, Mrs. Bonomo, and Mrs. Pfrank.

At this year’s Vigo County Fair, I was happy to see seven poster projects on the topic of bullying awareness. One of them received Grand Champion. That tells me that other people are taking a stand against bullying, too.

Now that I am going on to high school at West Vigo, I want to continue speaking out against bullying. I hope to form a group of students from all the VCSC high schools, because I think students who meet with each other for a good cause can help prevent bullying back at their schools. I started a Twitter account, @heroesinaction, to have a place to share ideas and encouragement on the topic of bullying.

I want to end this letter by thanking Mr. Tanoos, the superintendent of my school corporation, for believing in me. One time when he was in my school, my principal introduced me to him and told him about my anti-bullying project. Mr. Tanoos shook my hand and congratulated me for speaking up.  

I know what it feels like to be bullied, and I know what it feels like to be a bully. If everyone takes a stand with me, then we can reach out to more people about the dangers of bullying.

I am also grateful for the encouragement from Mrs. Eva Kor. I visited her CANDLES Museum a few times to hear her speak, and she spoke at my school. Like me, she is one person trying to make a difference.

— Mercedes McCall

West Terre Haute

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Today in History for April 18th Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes
NDN Video
My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity