July 13, 2024
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July 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Standing Up to Bullying

I am Justin Sohn, an 8th grader currently attending the Moriah School located in Englewood, NJ.In 6th grade my friend Samantha Maza and I were both being bullied.Students would tease us about our friendship and we would leave school so upset that we did not want to attend school the next day.In 8th grade we had the opportunity to actively take a stand against bullying and we knew that we were ready to accept the challenge.

We joined the Teen Leadership Council coordinated by Sara Sideman from The Kaplan JCC on the Palisades and Ryan Mion form the Bergen Family Center. This council is comprised of local middle school students.We teamed up to plan a conference for over 160 middle school students to learn how to “be the change” in our respective schools and to meaningfully combat bullying and relational aggression.

Before coordinating this very successful conference, we had the idea of coordinating an anti-bullying program in our school. We developed the concept of “The Upstander Revolution.” The goal of the program was to teach students in our school the importance of being upstanders rather than passively playing the roles of bystanders. On February 11th, “The Upstander Revolution” took place. Activities included book sharings, discussions about being a good friend, creating snowflakes symbolizing the unique nature of friendships, and pledging to be an upstander by placing handprints on a canvas with the entire school. Throughout the day we had inspirational lectures and classes led by our teachers.All in all, we created a memorable day for our school. Students truly gained from this experience. Our hope is that “The Upstander Revolution” will evolve into an annual Moriah event.

By Justin Sohn

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