Posts Tagged ‘bully’

2013 NO BULL Challenge promoting digital responsibility launched; Steve Harvey signs on as judge

Friday, December 14th, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO ( December 14, 2012 — The Great American NO BULL Challenge today launches its second annual global short film and Public Service Announcement competition for teens promoting digital responsibility and anti-bullying. TV personality Steve Harvey has joined the campaign as one of the judges.

Middle and high school students, ages 13-18, are eligible to compete by submitting videos on digital responsibility to
Formats include: 2-5 minute short films, and 30-60 second PSA’s–all dealing with digital responsibility. For the first time, there is a category for foreign short films and PSA’s. Videos may be uploaded from December 14, 2012 to April 29, 2013.

Prizes will include a mentorship by Emmy Award winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch, video cameras, scholarships and a trip to the Sundance Film Festival, where the winning video will be submitted.

The NO BULL Challenge began as a fight against cyberbullying–a problem plaguing millions of teens and preteens. Today, it’s expanding to include other areas of digital responsibility, including: anti-bullying, online brand management, sexting awareness, and hate-speech awareness.

The NO BULL Challenge was founded by cyber safety expert and bestselling author, Shawn Edgington. “Our goal is to ensure that all middle and high school students from around the world have access to the NO BULL Challenge to help strengthen their digital responsibility skills using real life experiences, the power of their voice, and the magic of filmmaking,” commented Shawn Edgington.

Facebook and Twitter will play a key role in the 2013 campaign holding a teen “Hack-a-Vid”, next spring. Film industry experts, educators and social media experts will attend to offer advice to the young filmmakers for the creation of their PSA’s.

The public will vote on the videos in May and then a panel of experienced judges will determine winners from the top nominated videos. 2012 judges included Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Ann Shoket, Editor-In-Chief, Seventeen Magazine. Emmy award-winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch, director of “BULLY” will return as a judge for the second year.

Zoe Oz, Nicole Edgington, Zack Veach, and Paige Logan continue in their roles as teen spokespeople for the NO BULL Challenge. Reformed bullies and 2012 NO BULL Nominees Scott Hannah and Tyler Gregory have joined the NO BULL’s National Spokespeople’s team for 2013.

About the Great American NO BULL Challenge and NO BULL Teen Video Awards:
The NO BULL Challenge and NO BULL Teen Video Awards promote digital responsibility, a positive school climate and social action using the power of music and filmmaking. The campaign’s national partners include, National Organization for Youth Safety, iSafe, FCCLA, 4-H, Bully The Movie and The Bully Project, HealthCorps, Project Change, Business Professionals of America, ADL, SADD, The California Endowment and GuestAssist Campus among others. The Great American NO BULL Challenge is a 501c3 organization.

About Shawn Edgington:
Shawn Edgington is the founder of the Great American NO BULL Challenge and the NO BULL Teen Video Awards. She is the President of the Cyber Safety Academy and the CEO of a national insurance company. A leading cyber-safety expert, Shawn is the author of the best selling book, “The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in the Digital World.”

Make a difference with NO BULL!

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Did you know one out of every four teenagers experiences some form of bullying? Even more staggering: 70 percent of students are targeted and taunted on the Internet. Chances are, you may have witnessed or experienced bullying yourself. Rest assured you’re not alone; in fact, three FFA members just like yourself tackled bullying by taking up a challenge head on – the Great American ‘No Bull’ Challenge.

Tyler Gregory, Scott Hannah and Zach Veach joined more than 25 million other middle and high school students by participating in the challenge, which is centered around using digital responsibility and social media to make a positive impact on bullying.

“Bullying just stops kids from wanting to chase their dreams,” says 18-year-old Veach, a professional race car driver who dropped out of public school because of the bullying he was facing.

“We’re here to make a change because it’s getting out of hand,” continued Veach. “Because I wasn’t on the football or baseball team, I was different. And different was bad.”

Gregory and Hannah have had their own encounters with bullying too. For Hannah, the issue hit home when his friends began to harass a close acquaintance of his from another school. Their experiences led the trio to learn more about the repercussions of bullying and enabled them to make a difference.

Now, all three are national spokesmen for the No Bull campaign and travel around to leadership organizations like the National FFA Organization to speak and inspire other students to consider the challenge for themselves.

“Everyone knows what bullying is, but no one wants to do anything about it,” said Gregory. “We’re challenging each and every one of you to take on No Bull. All you need is a camera and an idea.”

No Bull Challenge participants submit a short video or public service announcement elaborating on the topic of bullying. Fifty videos are selected and then narrowed down to the top 15 finalists who are invited to attend the Teen Video Awards in San Francisco. Additionally, contestants are eligible to win other prizes including laptops, a new camera and even college scholarships.

For more on how you can make a difference and join the No Bull Challenge, visit

Annual anti-bullying ”NO BULL Challenge” set to return in 2013; free programs provided to teachers.

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO ( October 1, 2012 — The Great American NO BULL Challenge today announced the second annual NO BULL Challenge and Teen Video Awards as the world turns its attention to National Bullying Prevention Month. The 2013 event is set to take place in the summer of 2013 in Los Angeles and returns teen spokespeople: author Zoe Oz, racecar driver Zach Veach and advocates Paige Logan and Nicole Edgington.

“We have found that the level of teen engagement and the promotion of a positive school climate are elevated when lessons come from other teens. Change makers affecting millions, is NO BULL’s lofty goal,” said Shawn Edgington, cyber safety expert, best selling author, and founder of the NO BULL Challenge.

The inaugural No BULL Teen Video Awards where held in July 2012 in San Francisco and included Hollywood celebrities, athletes, and musicians among them, singer/songwriter Sean Kingston and The New Boyz. The event also spawned a spoof on Comedy Central’s Emmy-award winning animated sitcom, South Park. To cap off the night, Robert Austin Barker was awarded first place for his documentary, “The Formula: A High School Thesis.”

“I filmed “The Formula” in response to my own personal battles with bullying. I think it’s important for people to consider that just because they’re in a place of darkness doesn’t mean they can’t bring light to it. The NO BULL Challenge allowed me to help deliver hope to all teens around the world with my film,” commented Austin Robert Barker, the big winner of the evening.

For the 2013 Challenge, teens and preteens are encouraged to enter the competition by creating 2-5 minute videos, or, 30-60 second PSAs, with a message of digital responsibility and/or anti-bullying. Videos may be submitted this December.

To further its anti-bullying message and teach students “digital responsibility,” the NO BULL Challenge and NO BULL Teen Video Awards will provide free educational programs to schools, nationwide. The programs are being administered through the Challenge’s NO BULL Academy.

The lesson plans were created by teens, many of who have been bullied. Among those is 18- year-old filmmaker, Barker. Barker’s winning short film, “The Formula” is being provided to schools, along with a new video message to students by Barker, and a Q & A lesson plan.

Fifteen video-rich classroom presentations have been put together for all students in order to help promote a positive school environment. Each 20-minute presentation includes one of the top 15 nominated films from the 2012 entries. The curriculum promotes digital responsibility and is available at no cost to schools, thanks to talented youth filmmakers and sponsors of the NO BULL Challenge.

About the Great American NO BULL Challenge and NO BULL Teen Video Awards:
The NO BULL Challenge and NO BULL Teen Video Awards promote social responsibility, a positive school climate and social action using the power of music and film. The campaign’s national partners include, National Organization for Youth Safety, iSafe, FCCLA, 4-H, Bully The Movie and The Bully Project, HealthCorps, Project Change, Business Professionals of America, SADD, The California Endowment, among others.

About the Teen Spokespeople:
Zoe Oz–teen blogger and co-author, along with her father, Dr. Mehmet Oz, of “YOU: The Owner’s Manual for Teens.”

Zach Veach–turned to auto racing after being bullied in school. Zach is part of the Andretti Autosport in INDYCAR’s Star Mazda Championship series.

Nicole Edgington–a cyberbullying survivor and inspiration for the NO BULL Challenge.

Paige Logan–4-H Representative at the annual National Bullying Summit in Washington, D.C. Paige talks about her own experience with being cyberbullied.

Scott Hannah and Tyler Gregory, dubbed the NO BULL Guys–they’ve been promoting their anti-bullying message at the National Anti-Bullying Summit in Washington D.C., during school assemblies, online and in media appearances throughout their home state of Ohio.

About Shawn Edgington:
Shawn Edgington is the founder of the Great American NO BULL Challenge and the NO BULL Teen Video Awards. She is the President of the Cyber Safety Academy and the CEO of a national insurance company. A leading cyber safety expert, Shawn is the author of the best selling book, “The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in the Digital World.”

Media Contact:
Suzanne Spurgeon

The back to school Golden Rule…

Friday, August 24th, 2012

The back to school Golden Rule…
It’s that time of year again, the first day of school. For some it’s a new school, a new grade, new face, new friends… for all, it’s a new beginning. We all know the Golden Rule, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” The truth is, most people fail to apply this rule.

I’ve just returned from the National Bullying Prevention Summit in Washington D.C. and have so much to share with you. In the technology era, bullying comes in all forms; it’s not necessarily the big kid taking your lunch money anymore. It comes by way of text, email, social media, far beyond the school’s jurisdiction. This sweeping epidemic that our children are dealing with every day has a new face: cyberbullying.

It’s important that teachers, parents and students are provided with the essential tools they need to stand up to this new threat. I will help provide you with these necessary tools.

The first day of school isn’t just a new beginning for students, but also for principals, teachers and parents.
Every day, each of us has the chance to turn a sometimes scary place into a safe and comfortable learning environment for our children. It’s amazing how much you can learn by simply opening your eyes to what is going on around you.

Keeping an open relationship with our children means we have to be ready to accept the reality of who they are and what they’re feeling. Really, I mean try accepting their point of view.

Communication is an ongoing process, rather than a one-time conversation. If you want your kids to talk to you, be ready to listen. This is probably the most important skill a parent can have at their disposal. We can strive to teach our children from right and wrong, and in return we can also learn by observing and listening.

Talk openly with your child about healthy relationships. Everyone is always going to be faced with both good and bad relationships; always take the good with the bad. Good relationships are doors to endless opportunity if they’re used properly. Bad relationships don’t have to be all bad, they might provide more obstacles, but sometimes an alternate course is needed to see things in a different light. Be prepared and ready to sit down and talk with your children about the good and bad relationships that they’re facing on a daily basis.

Here are some great back to school survival tips for your kids:
1. Smile! A simple smile can go a long way; it can change someone from having a bad day into a good one.
2. Keep your opinions to yourself! After all, they’re YOURS for a reason.
3. We all make mistakes! You will always learn from your mistakes, take your newfound knowledge and use it in a positive manner.

And let’s not forget when talking to our children to speak with L.O.V.E:
L – Listen. Talking with your children doesn’t always mean you have to be the only one talking.
O – Open. Let your children know that no topic is ever off limits.
V – Voice. It’s important to have a voice on both ends.
E – Enjoy, let your talk time be a happy time, and always remember that before you know it, they will be off to college or pursuing their dreams.
Join me this Tuesday, 8/28 for a live chat on Facebook. We’ll be covering cyber safety, standing up to bullying, educating our schools, students and more! You have a question? I have the answers! I look forward to connecting!

Shawn is a cyberbullying prevention expert and your go-to cyber safety advocate. Shawn’s the author of the bestselling book, The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in a Digital World, the Founder of the Cyber Safety Academy, the Great American NO BULL Challenge and the Teen Video Awards. Shawn is also the CEO of a national insurance firm, where she provides risk management for companies across the country.

Yes to ‘BULLY’, No to Bullies

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

There’s nothing more urgent in today’s schools than bullying, and there’s a must-see documentary premiering in select theaters on March 30th that powerfully speaks to the growing epidemic titled Bully. Bully tells the gut-wrenching stories of several children who were victimized by classmates in such a relatable way, that you will find yourself wanting to reach out from your seat to help them. Chances are that the only way your child will get to see Bully is if you or another adult takes them because of the R rating the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) gave the film. Unfortunately, the rating has handcuffed the film from being seen in schools due to a very small amount of language in the film.

I was asked to screen Bully earlier this month so I could support the cause of reversing the R rating to PG-13. I invited teens, parents and an officer of Formspring to attend the screening with me, so I could get a strong sense for the film’s content from three different perspectives. I must admit, I went into the film thinking I was going to keep track of the number of “F” bombs that were dropped. I was wrong in a very big way. Twenty-five minutes into the film, I found myself searching for the reason for the film’s R rating. When it was over, all we could do was shake our heads as to what a disservice the MPAA did to such an important issue and film. I’m a conservative parent of teens, an anti-bullying advocate, a bestselling author and a mother who’s experienced both bullying and cyberbullying first-hand. I’m also a firm believer that every parent, educator, administrator and teenager needs to see this film, which brings me to the larger problem.

Many parents and educators think that bullying is a tired social problem that won’t go away and is part of growing up. Even worse, many adults don’t take cyberbullying seriously, and have yet to take the time it takes to understand the long-lasting damage it can cause.

This thought process has got to change, and here’s why:

Cyberbullying can be more damaging than face-to-face verbal harassment, because targets have no refuge. They are assaulted even in the privacy of their own homes. Damaging messages come 24/7 and rumors spread quickly. Since harassers don’t see their target’s reactions, they tend to become even crueler than they would be face-to-face.

Consequences have both short-term and long-term impacts, especially for the target. They often feel isolated, scared, helpless, humiliated and have a hard time trusting anyone, which is exactly why a supportive parent or trusted adult who will stand up for the wrong-doing is a must.

What can you do? You can’t stop the bullies or change their minds, but you can control their access to your children and how you handle a bullying situation in your home. Educate yourself about the problem of bullying and cyberbullying, its causes and consequences. Develop strategies with your child to avoid social problems related to online communication and assess your child’s behavior, on and off campus. Help your child take these important steps:

Block the bullies. You can do this on Facebook through settings, and you can block incoming text messages by calling your service provider. Check out Facebook’s Family Safety Center for more useful tools and resources.

Don’t read comments. Some messages and posts are going to get through to your children, either on their phone or Facebook page or from someone else’s. Help your child understand the power of deleting all messages before they read them. Bullies don’t win their game if their messages aren’t read.

Ignore comments that are read or talked about. This is hard to do. Your child wants to defend themself, but the truth is that bullies want them to fight back so they can continue to tear them down. If your child can find the strength to ignore what the messages say, the bullies will have no way to continue to harass them.

Report threats. If your child receives a message that threatens their safety, contains vulgar language directed towards them, or just makes them uncomfortable, they need to know that they can tell you or a teacher, and that they will receive ongoing support. If someone feels like their life or personal belongings like their house or car are being threatened, they should immediately report the threat to the police. Most states have enacted laws to protect children from cyberbullies.

Give your child a voice. Let them use the art of filmmaking to write and direct their own anti-bullying 2-5 minute film. The Great American NO BULL Challenge is the largest, youth-led national campaign in America that combats cyberbullying at the youth level. Online toolkits about “all things cyberbullying” are available on the campaign site. The annual campaign uses the power of social media to inspire 25 million middle and high school students to promote awareness, courage and equality using social media and filmmaking.

And most importantly, take a few hours out of your busy schedule to see the film Bully. Take as many teens to the film as you can, and advocate for your schools to screen the film–it’s that important and that good! Every middle and high school child needs to see Bully, and you can help make it happen. I can’t help but contemplate that maybe the MPAA had the bigger “picture” in mind when they gave bully its unearned R rating…just maybe it was their brilliant goal to get parents to accompany their children to see the film too? The fact is that today’s teens are very aware of what’s happening to bullied victims every day–it’s the parents and educators who are in the dark and behind the times.

Producer Harvey Weinstein is now releasing the film without a rating, which could further limit who sees the film. Theater owners have the decision to run a film without a rating, which are typically treated as if they have an NC-17 rating, meaning nobody under 17 can see it.