May 21, 2012
Bullying in schools has been a topic often overlooked and attributed to juvenile behavior. These behaviors have been noted as early as day care. There is a great deal of hard evidence regarding the physical and mental harm that continued bullying does to vulnerable children. The youth most at risk for bullying are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT). Hatred and prejudice are played out daily in the lives of GLBT children by bullying attacks both mentally and physically. The inability to find safety or adult support from these attacks commonly leads to self-destructive behaviors and ultimately suicide.
Youth First Texas (YFT) is one of the largest GLBT youth organizations in the nation. It is the only non-profit in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex exclusively committed to providing social services, education, leadership, and recreational activities to gay youth and their straight allies. Our two centers in Dallas and Collin counties offer youth a safe space to be them selves and experience self-acceptance. For over 10 years, YFT for many youth has been the only place they are free of bullying behaviors.
We are so pleased to support the Bully Suicide Project, under the care of Dr Audrey Newsome, who works closely with the Mobiletrec Corporation to provide positive alternatives to the devastating effects of bullying in and out of school. We recognize that it is the intent of Bully Suicide Project; to shift that negative paradigm by changing the school climate to eliminate bullying on school campuses and preventing the needless suicides that result from bullying behavior. By incorporating SafeKidzone, a downloadable phone application, we support the efforts and vision of Dr. Audrey Newsome. Through her experience, insight and vision, we believe that Bully Suicide Project and Mobiletrec have created the technology, passion, experience and wisdom to bring about much needed change in our school systems.
Being involved with the Bully Suicide Project has been a great source of comfort and pride for some of our youth. Many YFT youth are seen in the Project’s public service announcement videos. Additionally they serve as ambassadors for the Bully Suicide Project. By taking part in bringing awareness to this critical subject, our youth are being publically empowered to say “no more bullying” for themselves and other youth who have contemplated suicide as the only way out of a bullying situation. The youth take pride as spokespersons for other youth who do not have the platform and resources to have their voices heard. It takes a lot of courage to let strangers in to your innermost thoughts and shameful feelings over contemplating suicide. I applaud the strength and commitment our youth are demonstrating by sharing their stories.
More companies and organizations are needed to help spread the word about the extent of damage bullying does. By partnering with the Bully Suicide Project, you can bring awareness and understanding that this type of behavior is going on for all children and it needs to end. Those responsible for our children’s safety while in school cannot turn a deaf ear when we all unit and add a collective volume to our voices. We all as members of our community can step forward and be bold in stopping bullying behavior when we see it happening. Please join YFT in supporting the Bully Suicide Project – together we can save young lives beginning today.
Senior Co-Chair, Board of Directors
Youth First Texas
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