Julian-Alexandre W., journalist
Just last month, on Feb. 23 , GWUOHS had its very first KIND Campaign Assembly–big kudos to the Women’s Empowerment Club for hosting this event to promote girl-on-girl bullying awareness. This movement has grown as very popular forms of bullying amongst females such as indirect bullying, have grown to account for nearly 18% of all cases of bullying. Moreover, since the COVID-19 pandemic, the new popularity in online schooling, and a general increase in online activity, cyberbullying has risen dramatically. In a 2021 national representative sample, 23.7% of females in a 2,546-person sample, between the ages of 13 and 17, faced some sort of cyberbullying to their respective gender category. The issue of girl-on-girl bullying is widespread and non-exclusive to our school environment. Here is my interview with Danielle Chan, from the Women’s Empowerment Club and the GW Chronicle, to give more
insight into the GWUOHS KIND Campaign Assembly!
Can you give me a quick definition of this event and the movement from your perspective?
“This event was part of a campaign hosted by two amazing individuals, Lauren and Molly, who shared their own experiences with girl-on-girl bullying. They also presented a documentary with dozens of others recounting their personal experiences with bullying, highlighting the impacts of bullying and the lasting effects it can have. I personally found it heartbreaking to hear about the experience’s others have gone through but were also inspired to make a change. I think we all realized the damage a few simple words or actions can bring to someone and were all reminded to not only be more mindful and considerate of others and what they may be going through unconsciously, but to also demonstrate kindness and let our friends and loved ones know that we’re always there for them.”
In terms of the event, what lessons or themes of the movement stood out most to you?
“What stood out to me the most was the importance of support in hard times like these. So many of the girls in the documentary all said that they wished to have even just one person who was by their side throughout school, and so many were grateful for the people who had been there for them or had just showed a few acts of kindness when everyone else turned their backs on them. A small kind act and a single friend whom you know that you can count on and lean on throughout hard times can be life changing and, many times, may be what saves people from feeling like they’re completely alone in this world.”
How do you think the co-founders’ stories about their own personal experiences can also affect and empower others?
“I think the co-founders’ stories about their own experiences and how they were able to turn those experiences into something were extremely impactful and empowering. Many often wish to close the bullying chapters of their lives and forget the entire experience, but I found it extremely inspiring to hear how they harnessed these experiences to form a campaign as powerful as the KIND Campaign, hoping to prevent and lessen the horrible experiences they were forced to experience from happening again on millions of other girls.”
Since the co-founders came from brick-and-mortar schools, how did they approach the meeting to help kids in the online school setting?
“I think the overall lessons that were shared in this event were applicable in both a brick and mortar and online setting! We’re lucky that GWUOHS has formed an extremely positive and healthy school environment, but I think bullying is something that occurs no matter where you are and, in fact, I think the internet has made bullying even more possible as the experience can now continue no matter where you are. We used Zoom to host the event and create an online Padlet ‘wall’ in replacement of what would be an actual wall in a brick-and-mortar school. The hosts were amazing, and I think all of us were all able to learn a lot from them.”
Finally, what aspects of this event would you describe to be most beneficial for fellow students who may be involved or challenged with girl versus girl bullying?
“I think there were two key aspects of this event that served the most beneficial, the first was that bullying can impact one’s life forever. It may seem like harmless teasing, a glare, or a few words but the emotional damage done on someone can last forever, as seen in the documentary. I think those who may be involved with girl-on-girl bullying were reminded of the impact of their words and to rethink the things they have/might be planning on doing. For those who have faced bullying, the key thing I hoped that they were able to take away was the fact that being bullied is not defining, nor is it forever. As Lauren said, being bullied seemed like the most important and pressing thing in her life when she was in school, and she often felt it would be difficult to escape. However, she’s now moved on to do amazing things, and I hope that those who have or are dealing with such hard times are reminded of that too. I hope they understand that the bullying they endured is not their fault, and they did not deserve such treatment. Bullying is just a small chapter in their amazing lives, and I hope they emerge from that experience stronger and more resilient. We’re all amazing and I hope everyone in the
event was reminded of that!”