What Teachers Are Learning From This Teen

We’ve all been affected by bullying at some point in our lives. Either as a victim of bullying,  a bystander to bullying, or by being a bully!  This is an issue that every school deals with, however not  all of them have the correct information and knowledge to effectively solve this problem. Our latest grant winner, 17-year-old Rebecca Shaw, decided to do something about this. She founded the Anti-Bullying Leadership Network and has gotten hundreds of students from around the country to encourage teachers, researchers and academics to talk about bullying and come-up with the best way to stop it.

DoSomething.org: Who/what inspired you to take action around this issue?

Rebecca Shaw: This summer will mark my second year as a research assistant for Princeton psychologist Betsy Paluck, who developed the Roots anti-bullying program currently implemented in 60 New Jersey public middle schools.  Inspired by the innovative academic research occurring in this area, I founded the Anti-Bullying Leadership Network, a student-run organization committed to sparking a dialogue among academics, educators, government officials, and student advocates about evidence-based approaches to bullying prevention.

DS: What makes your project unique?

RS: In addition to being a student-run organization, the Anti-Bullying Leadership Network focuses on advancing empirically-tested, data-driven programs for bullying prevention that have been proved to really work.

DS: What is one moment that stands out where you knew you were making a difference?

RS: I remember distinctly the moment I checked our website and discovered that conference registration had surpassed 400 attendees.  With every teacher, principal, counselor, high schooler and graduate student, I became increasingly conscious of the fact that we are creating a movement, and that people believe very deeply in the cause.

DS: How is this grant money going to help you expand your project?

RS: The grant money we receive will be used to livestream the conference on our website so that students and educators across the country (and even across the globe) can benefit from the discussions at the conference.  We hope to expand the scope of the Anti-Bullying Leadership Network beyond the tri-state area.

DS: If you could have one superpower what would it be?

RS: The ability to time travel! I’d love to spend an afternoon with Amelia Earhart or Oscar Wilde.

Create an online page that combats bullying. GO