Be The Difference

Alarming Facts…

  • 160,000 students skip school every day to avoid being bullied.
  • An increasing number of fourth through eighth graders report being victims of bullying.
  • 40% of middle schoolers feel that violence is increasing – and they don’t feel safe.

As the new academic year gets underway, some students undoubtedly view the beginning of school with trepidation rather than excitement.  Bullying has become all too prevalent in our society – and our children are all too frequently its victims.

To address this serious issue, the Office Depot Foundation launched its “Be The Difference. Speak Up Against Bullying!” Program with support from Office Depot and the popular band One Direction.  During the 2013-2014 school year, more than 160,000 students participated in approximately 300 anti-bullying education assemblies conducted by nationally known speakers Brooks Gibbs and Travis Brown (Mr. Mojo).  The program to was designed to help create safe, bully-free schools across the nation by empowering students to speak up against bullying.

For the 2015-2016 school year, the Office Depot Foundation’s anti-bullying efforts are focusing specifically on the increasingly dangerous problem of cyberbullying.  According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, recent research has found that cyberbullying leads to negative emotions such as sadness, anger, frustration, embarrassment, or fear, which have been linked to delinquency and violence among youth. It has also been tied to low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts, lower grades, truancy and absenteeism, assaults, substance use, carrying a weapon to school, and traditional bullying.

Learn more… about cyberbullying, what you can do if it happens to you… and what you can do to end it.