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"Bullying will NEVER go away!"

“Bullying will NEVER go away!”
 
The words stared back at me from a friend’s Facebook update.
 
“Never” is a powerful word. It doesn’t mean that something will take a long time, it means that something is impossible. It means forever.
 
It also tells you something about the person who said it: It says that they have given up that particular fight. But it’s important to realize that giving up doesn’t have to mean forever.
 
It may not seem like this at first. “This will never go away!” and “Things will never change!” are said about all manner of societal, economic, and environmental issues, just to name a few. People can be very adamant about the things they don’t believe in.
 
Take a look at our history. Look at our rich, varied past. Then look at all the “nevers” that aren’t with us anymore, all the changes that have happened. Look at them from all sides, personally and objectively, microscopically and wide-scale. What are you doing today that you wouldn’t have been allowed to do a decade or more before? What’s making life easier for you now that would have been unimaginable just in the last century? What was commonplace to hear 20, 30, 40 years ago that would be considered absolute taboo now?
 
For example, here I am, a married woman holding a job outside my home—the very job that’s teaching me how we can make a difference. Or go further, and look at the civil rights movement, at space exploration, at computers in our pockets.
 
“Bullying will NEVER go away!” is a fallacy. We may not see the end in sight right now. We may not see it for decades, or even a century more. But if other things can change, this can too, though it will take time—and more than time—to make it happen.

Idealistic? Perhaps. And that’s OK. Because what matters is this: Taking ideals and ideas and doing something about them.
 
Now, while I’m grateful for the things I learn every day here at CPI, I’m not a subject matter expert on bullying. But there are many people who are, people for whom “never” didn’t have the power to stop them from trying. People like the ones we are excited to showcase for National Bullying Prevention Month.
 
Julie Hertzog was inspired by her son, David, born with Down syndrome, and joined the PACER Center in 2000 to help direct bullying prevention efforts for students with disabilities.

Curtis Adams, AKA Unkle Adams, uses his musical talent to write and perform motivational songs about issues, such as bullying, that affect our society.
 
Anne Fox decided at age 21 that she wanted to devote her life to helping kids. She founded the anti-bullying campaign Cruel’s Not Cool! to provide students, teachers, administrators, and parents with bullying prevention resources.
 
Check back on October 1 for the start of School Bullying Prevention Difference Makers: 31 for 31, featuring new difference-makers and resources every day. Follow #31bullying and @CPI_Training on Twitter to keep up to date.
 
This may not be your fight. These may not be your experiences. I invite you to take a look anyway. I guarantee you’ll find something worth much more than some tired old nevers.
 
 
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