be an upstander

Between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 U.S. students say that they have been bullied at school. Even more have been cyberbullied. Bullying is not limited to schools or teenagers-- it can happen directly or indirectly and be physical, verbal, relational or even involve damaged property. Bullying does not discriminate, it happens everywhere. 

In order to do something about this staggering statistic, we must have uncomfortable and courageous conversations about bullying and the impact that it's having on kids and adults alike. The Tyler Clementi Foundation, started by the Rutgers University freshman's mom after she lost her son to suicide due to vicious cyberbullying, wants you to know this: 

"Bullying has no single cause and takes no single form, but it can be prevented. The effects of bullying can have lasting negative consequences on the lives of children, adults, families and communities. It is up to all of us to address bullying when we see it and to create a culture that empowers Upstanders and ends bullying before it starts.

To do so, we must recognize bullying when and where we see it. Bullying is in every cruel playground taunt or vicious social media post targeted at a child. Bullying is in bosses that cut down their employees needlessly. It is in every negative message LGBTQ people receive from legislation that takes away their rights and protections. It is in misguided religious teachings that tell LGBTQ youth they are broken, unlovable, and separated from God.

The only way to prevent the devastating harms and deep loss that bullying can cause is to create a culture of kindness, where every person is valued, and no one is cut down, excluded, or demonized."

The YMCA of Central Ohio prides itself on being an inclusive and loving environment where all are welcome to come as they are. We welcome people from all walks of life, from health seekers to bodybuilders and from every socioeconomic background there is. We want to be the place where someone feels safe from happenings of the outside world.

We are committed to being Upstanders, are you?

Please share your efforts in spreading awareness and preventing bullying on social media by tagging @ycbus on Twitter and Instagram and YMCA of Central Ohio on Facebook then use the hashtags #caring #honesty #respect #responsibility