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Being Bullied is NO Joke – By Priyanka Kumar, Brentwood High STARS student (originally published 11/08/10)


Every day, thousands of kids are bullied by their peers. Students Taking A Right Stand (STARS) helps kids ask for help when they need it the most. What are the causes of bullying? Many kids bully others because they, themselves, have been bullied. Being the bully instead of the victim makes them feel powerful instead of powerless. Why are kids bullied? Bullies might pick topics such as skin color, gender, beliefs, body type, etc. to make the victim feel helpless and hopeless.

STARS helps kids get to the point at which they celebrate differences. For instance, with the help of STARS, kids can appreciate that each one of us is made differently. And, that’s a good thing because the world would not be fun if everybody were white.

The topic of bullying has flared a lot of outrage by many people, and it seems as if everyone has been bullied at one point in their life. Taking this fact into consideration, we as caring people of this planet Earth need to stop bullying, for it is leading to dire consequences! Kids are committing suicide, because they do not feel safe anymore. Being made fun of once or twice is whole different situation than not being comfortable walking through the halls alone or being scared of going to school.

As an avid reader of Seventeen magazine, I read an article about Phoebe Prince who committed suicide after being “viciously tormented by her schoolmates.” This life touching story makes me realize how lucky I am, and that if I have a chance to make a difference, I should snatch it up faster than I snatch up a pair of cute shoes on sale!

I make an effort to be the change by participating in Students Taking A Right Stand. STARS prepares kids to make healthy life style choices that have positive effects on their academic, social, and mental being. Thankfully, STARS was founded in 1984 with the help of communities and people such as former Ambassador Joe M. Rodgers.

STARS kids form a pact that anyone can join to refrain from the use of alcohol and drugs, and by having others support them, they are able to stick to that promise.

I am so glad that Brentwood High School has STARS, because who knows what kids would be doing without having student role models to look at and to inspire them.

Governor Phil Bredesen has proclaimed November 14-20 “Bullying Awareness Week” joining STARS in making an important difference in the lives of our teens.  If you or anyone with whom you have contact needs help with bullying, be their advocate, contact STARS and you could make a difference in preventing a drastic and unnecessary outcome.


STARS is deeply committed to creating a culture and work space that centers on the power of relationships, that values diversity of perspective and experience, and that honors the dignity, worth, and contributions of all.