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Stand Up and Start a Movement


Amanda Aron is a senior from Vermilion High School. In October, our MOVE2STAND program visited her high school and she shared her feelings and experience about the program.

Stand Up and Start a Movement by Amanda Aron

On Friday, October 3, MOVE2STAND visited Vermilion High School.

MOVE2STAND is a program run by Student Taking A Right Stand (STARS), an organization committed to serving “schools and communities by providing prevention, intervention and treatment services addressing bullying, substance abuse, violence and social and emotional barriers to success.”


MOVE2STAND is much deeper than your standard anti-bullying program. I am currently a senior in high school and throughout my years at VHS I have sat through many anti-bullying assembles, videos, and surveys. None of these efforts ever seemed to make a noticeable difference. To be completely honest, I looked at all of these assemblies, including MOVE2STAND, as simply a day out of school. However, the experience I had at this leadership training was more intense and rewarding than I anticipated.

Students in grades 8-12 were selected by Vermilion teachers to participate in the program. All students were selected because they were considered to have leadership potential.

On the day of the event, we all walked into the gymnasium expecting a lecture that we have all heard before and videos we have all seen about how bullying is wrong. Little did we know, this program was much more than that. To our surprise, later that day many of the students and even teachers would be crying and opening up to one another about personal struggles with bullying. This program successfully shined a new light on bullying and made it a lot more personal and real.

Many of us have heard about strangers’ issues with bullying, and we’ve sympathized. At Move 2 Stand, seeing classmates crying and hearing their stories about personal struggles with bullying and how it has affected them was a whole new experience for many of us. It was a lasting experience for me.

One of the key things I learned during the program was that many of us wear masks. Masks that cover who we truly are to camouflage us and protect us from being bullied. I have learned that having respect for others will encourage them to take their masks off. Having respect for others relieves people of the daily fears of being judged and bullied for being themselves.

Having respect and love for yourself will help you never feel the need to hide how beautiful you are with a constricting mask in fear of not fitting in.

If children, teenagers, and adults would take the time to reflect on how unique and important they are, build respect for themselves and others, and encourage each other to take off their masks, this world would be a happier and healthier environment for people of all ages.

—Amanda Aron is a senior at Vermilion High School


If you would like to learn more about the MOVE2STAND program, visit their page on our website here.