The power to stop the cycle of bullying is in the hands of those who know firsthand how damaging it can be, one anti-bullying advocate told a group of Langley children gathered at Langley Christian Middle and High School Saturday.
“You guys are the ones who are going to make the world a better place,” said Carol Todd.
Todd has been advocating for an end to bullying since her daughter, Amanda, took her own life in October 2012, after posting a video online explaining how she suffered at the hands of bullies.
“You guys, as kids, are going to grow up to be the next set of adults,” said Todd. “We want to make sure that your kids and you – when you’re in your teenage (years) and your adulthood – that the world is a safer place for you.”
Todd spoke to a group of attentive Langley children at the free Kidz ‘n Power Bullying Prevention seminar, the third bullying prevention session put on by Rahn’s Black Belt Academy in Langley. The program looks to empower kids with the courage and confidence to recognize and protect themselves against bullying.
Wearing a hockey jersey emblazoned with her daughter’s birthdate, Todd told the audience that one of the best ways to combat bullying is by focusing on spreading kindness and positivity.
“We don’t want to give bullies the attention that they want, because it’s negative attention. We want to give the attention to people who are doing random acts of kindness or intentional acts of kindness,” she said.
“It’s things like that that make the world a kinder place.”
Todd passed out pink bracelets with Amanda’s name and the words “stay strong” printed beside a small snowflake.
“Snowflakes aren’t alike, and they’re really delicate and they’re fragile,” Todd told the audience. “When you think about everybody that’s on this world, we’re all fragile, we’re all our own person.”
“There’s really nobody like you in the whole wide world,” explained Todd, encouraging kids to be strong and own their individuality.
She also encouraged kids to stand up for themselves and others who are being bullied, recognizing when someone is treating them badly and removing themselves from that situation while confiding in a trusted adult.
“We have to stay strong, we have to stand up and we have to be heard,” Todd said.