Magazine article Techniques

New League of Superheroes Takes on Its Greatest Archenemy: The Bully

Magazine article Techniques

New League of Superheroes Takes on Its Greatest Archenemy: The Bully

Article excerpt

What began as a brother's love for his sister is helping Anthony Simpson III move closer to realizing his dream: expanding the anti-bullying campaign he created as a high school junior into a non-profit organization.

In addition to winning him state and national honors from FCCLA, Anthony's determination, grit and focus on bullying prevention have won him a day of mentoring in the One Day I'll ... contest sponsored by Acuvue. Thousands of youth submitted one-minute videos* about their dreams in the nationwide competition. Anthony is one of four young people who will be helped to achieve their dreams by working with celebrity mentors.

And, like all great quests. Anthony's dream was inspired by the love for his family.

Anthony was troubled by the bullying his six-year-old sister and others suffered at the hands of classmates and older students at New Plymouth Elementary School in Idaho. They were subjected to taunts and name-calling: You're fat. Your parents are divorced. Hey, four eyes.

As a member of New Plymouth High FCCLA, he created Hero Week, a bullying prevention project for Focus on Children, one of FCCLA's competitive STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) events. His project tied into the very essence of FCCLA, the only national CTSO with the family as its central focus.

Anthony partnered with the elementary school guidance counselor to launch the project. His mission was straightforward: challenging children to become anti-bullying heroes who reach out to and stand up for their marginalized classmates.

In the months before Hero Week, Anthony surveyed the school's 400+ students from kindergarten through fifth grade. The findings were gut-wrenching: More than half revealed they had been bullied. Some students wrote "a lot" to the question, Have you been bullied? …

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