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Move 2 Stand Bullying Prevention Training – Making A Difference


The positive after effects are still being registered from the annual JMR STARS Leadership Retreat held in November, and we wanted to share some of the good news with you.

Made possible by the family of Ambassador Joe M. Rodgers and named in his honor, over 350 students from 20 area high schools and almost 125 students from 10 area middle schools gathered in Nashville for Students Taking A Right Stand (STARS) Move 2 Stand training. Held on separate days for high school and middle school, the training equips student athletes and student leaders to take a stand against bullying and harassment while contributing to the overall school climate. Students were challenged to step outside their comfort zone throughout the day examining attitudes and beliefs about bullying while providing them with the awareness, knowledge and information in order to plan and implement school wide initiatives to help foster a positive school climate.



“One of our best kept secrets with huge results,” is how Eric Johnson, STARS’ associate executive director, describes Move 2 Stand. Days after the JMR Leadership Retreat, five different inquiries were made by students and administrators wanting to start Move 2 Stand movements in their schools. Here are some of the area great results Johnson has reported:

-Glencliff High School had 10 to 15 students attend and they have gone back to their school to start a Move 2 Stand already holding their first meeting.  These kids are realizing that one person can make a difference. They have great ideas to impact the culture of their school.

-An Independence High School parent attended the training and shared, in comparison to some national training programs, Move 2 Stand provides stronger help and guidance. She was so taken by the day that she offered to help pay for it due to the impact of the days’ training.

-20 eager and motivated leadership students from Page High school who attended the training, contacted their schools administrators in hopes of having the M2S team to come train all 850 students in their Williamson County school.

Finally, here is some of the student feedback:

“I thought at first, what did I get myself into?  I know this was the right choice for me and I will help.”  

“Thank you for teaching us about how many people are hurt by our words. You rock, Move 2 Stand.”

“Today, you’ve taught me to love people for who they are and that other people share the same difficulties. It is not like judging a book by its cover.” 

Kids are motivated to go back to the school to implement change says Johnson. They are being equipped with a voice, the confidence and a sound ideology to make a difference.

“Through Move 2 Stand, it has been an opportunity to motivate and to empower young people to go back to their schools and begin change. We are giving them workable strategies to help kids being bullied. It is so exciting for me that young people are doing something to help their peers.  It is not adults or STARS staffers making a difference, it is the young people who will successfully apply these strategies,” Johnson said.

STARS next Move 2 Stand training will take place January 6, 2012 at Harpeth High School in Cheatham County. For more information on implementing this important youth leadership training, contact Eric Johnson at 615-279-0058.

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.