Ah, the golden rule: “Treat others the way you wish to be treated.” Lately, this message seems to be falling on deaf ears. Each year, bullying spreads like wildfire and there are increases in cases, deaths and suicides. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics’ 2013 report, nearly one in three students said they have been bullied at some point throughout the school year. Learn about the Friends For Change campaign now!
Friends For Change: Spreading the Word
With our advances in technology, cyber-bullying is one of the biggest ways students are attacked by their peers. Due to its nature, digital harassment is a more passive approach to bullying. However, this doesn’t make it any less damaging to its victims. Therefore, networks have been using technology in a more positive light to spread the word about treating one another with kindness.
Ultimately, the Disney Channel has become a front-runner for preventing bullying. Their “2013 sweep of TV’s #1 Total Day Network for kids 2-11, 6-11, and Tweens” is a great indicator that their successful network can help campaign and reach viewers to advocate for change.
Friends For Change
Through their initiative, Friends For Change, Disney has attended to kids in over 55 countries by jump-starting approximately 5 million projects, including cleaning beaches, recycling and teaching kids to feel comfortable in their own skin. Recently, popular Disney stars from the shows Dog With A Blog, Good Luck Charlie, and Liv and Maddie, have teamed up to spread positivity and preventing bullying with their in-network commercial.
In addition to broadcasting positive messages and addressing bullying, the Disney Channel also provides online resources for students to join the fight and help stop bullying in their own hometown. Access to these materials can help students, families and schools understand bullying, consider its consequences and move forward to shed positive light on others.
Friends For Change: Disney Stars Share Hope
While Disney’s Friends For Change Campaign recruits their stars to become ambassadors for change, many of them are taking their own stance to address bullying through their own talents and time.
For example, Disney star Jasmine Richards of Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam channels her own encounters with bullying to inspire others to stand up for what they believe in. Her hopes have been to raise awareness and help those suffering.
Richards launched her own website, which features her anti-bullying song entitled, “You Have The Power.” The video tackles different forms of bullying that stem from taunting, being picked last for a team and cyber-bullying. In memory of fifteen-year-old Jamie Hubley, who committed suicide after being bullied about being homosexual, this video inspires others to stand together to conquer bullying. Disney’s Shake It Up! stars Bella Thorne and Zandaya attended a leadership academy in Tucson, Arizona in order to become advocates for change and hold true to individuality. Thorne in particular was asked to become a 2012 global ambassador for “Stomp Out Bullying,” due to her own battle with dyslexia.
Recently, Corbin Bleu of Disney’s High School Musical trilogy has launched his own campaign from his experiences in an art school. The video project named “The Day I Died” will be a drama that tackles the casualties of bullying and its results. His project, which he hopes will be filmed in 2014, intends to spread the message about the effects bullying has on a person, and the understanding that it ultimately affects more than one person.
Friends For Change: The Moral of the Story
Bullying is an epidemic. It hurts more than just the victim. It is deadly. Social media has escalated bullying and has shifted its focus to more passive approaches. These are facts that cannot be denied. However, programs like Disney’s Friends For Change are continuously fighting to end bullying. By reaching their viewers, their hopes to increasingly save lives and protect the safety and well being of others can be a catalyst for positive change in our society.
Disney Friends For Change is about helping children help the planet, to inspire kids to to think about the world and work together to “make small daily changes that add up to a big difference”
With The Disney friends for change program children can make pledges with friends and family, unlock virtual badges and games and vote on how the Disney friends for change program can distribute 1 million US dollars in donation to environmental projects around the world this year.