Community Guidance

PLEASE HELP US BUILD OUR COMMUNITY CENTER

TO SERVE FAMILIES IN NORTH FORT WORTH, TEXAS

PROJECTED COST $1,500,000.00

Our community center will be a public gathering place for people of all ages. Seniors, young children, teens and adults will have available to them the many activities and programs offered at the center. The facility will serve as the community's primary civic meeting place addressing recreational, educational, and cultural interests for many North Fort Worth residents. It will also serve as a meeting place for organizations, individuals and for public events. We are seeking major donors looking to make a major impact in the lives of thousands of people right here in our community.

What You Can Do

The stories of people hurting each other in Bully, and the ones we see on the news and in our schools, are really disturbing. But there is also hope when families really listen to each other, when students like you stand up for themselves, and when friends stick by each other. Thinking about or talking about the questions below can help us figure out how to turn those feelings into understanding and action. If you have thoughts or questions, or if you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling, reach out to a parent or someone at your school.

You can answer these questions about the movie Bully, or other stories you know of that involve bullying or mistreatment.

How do the stories make you feel?

Seeing people getting hurt or in pain can make us feel sad, mad or frustrated. We also might have a mix of those emotions. It's totally fine to feel that way. We have choices about how to respond to our emotions – we can choose to take those feelings and use them in a positive way to change things.

What does bullying mean to you?

A lot of the bullying stories we hear are about really aggressive words and actions. But other behaviors can be really hurtful too –starting rumors about others, calling people names, making people feel like they aren't good enough or don't belong. What does bullying mean to you and what are some of the ways that we hurt each other?

How have other people made you feel mistreated, misunderstood or alone?

Thinking about words and actions that make us feel bad can help us think about how the things we say and do help and hurt others. Also remember that people who act mean or bully are often dealing with their own tough situations. They may feel mistreated or alone too. There is no excuse to hurt others, but realize that the cruel things people do or say is usually about their own stuff.

Why do people hurt themselves?

In the film there are two families who have children who die by suicide. Why does this happen? Bullying can make anyone feel really alone and down, but it shouldn't lead to us hurting ourselves. Sometimes, people are hurting so much that they think there is no other way out. Bullying can contribute to those feelings, but it's usually more complicated - - there may be struggles with depression, feeling different or family problems. As bad as things can feel, there's always hope and always a way to feel better. If you or someone you know feel like there's no way out, let a parent or someone at school know. If you notice these warning signs in a friend, don't keep it a secret.

Is your school or community an accepting, safe place for everyone?

The movie highlights people who are made to feel different because of race, sexuality or special needs. Are there people or groups at your school who might feel different or unaccepted? What can you and your friends do to make them feel more accepted and supported?

How can you take action to make things better?

Read on to find things you can do every day to support yourself, help others and make your community and school safer and more caring. Use the checklist at the end of the guide to mark things you plan to do.

Take Action

When people are bullied or mistreated, it's not just their problem – it affects everyone in our schools or communities. It's important that we understand the pain we cause each other when we are cruel or make people feel different. We also need to do a better job of looking out for each other and speaking up when we are concerned about friends or classmates. Here are some actions you can take to help yourself and others:

1. Speak Up

Sometimes it's hard to speak up and tell somebody that we are being bullied or mistreated, or that we feel different or alone. We feel like we need to be perfect or we don't want to seem whiny or be a burden to other people. Or it may feel embarrassing to tell parents, teachers or friends what others are saying about us or doing to us. Here's the truth — we all have a hard time sometimes and there is nothing wrong with speaking up and saying that you or someone you know are feeling sad, alone or mistreated.

2. Think Twice About Our Words and Actions

In the movie Bully, we see examples of really mean or violent behaviors. Being violent or cruel can cause serious pain and damage. But there are also lots of other ways that we make people feel bad or different: making comments or insults behind someone's back, starting rumors to embarrass someone, ignoring people or making them feel like they don't fit in, and standing by and watching or laughing when someone else is being bullied. The things we choose to do and say are powerful. So we can take action daily by making sure we are using our words and actions to help others and not harm them. Instead of making a joke at someone's expense, think of something kind to say. Instead of tweeting or posting an insult, use that as a chance to make someone feel good. We have to think twice before we do or say something that could hurt someone — and then choose to use those words and actions in a good way instead.

3. Focus on the Positive

When even a few people are mean to us or unaccepting it can feel like no one cares. It's easy to focus only on the negative and to start believing what's being said by all the voices that are bringing us down. Even when it feels like no one gets us or likes us, it's important that we support and love ourselves. Try to take a moment each day to focus on the positive instead of the negative. Instead of replaying that insult someone threw at you over and over in your head, make a list of things that make you feel good, or things or people you appreciate. And, if you are having a hard time changing the sad or bad feelings, or if you are thinking about hurting yourself — speak up and let someone know. Talking to someone about how you feel really is the first step to feeling better.

4. Look Out for Friends and Classmates

Sometimes we have so many things going on in our own heads and so many things we feel worried or insecure about, that we don't notice when other people are having a really hard time. If you see someone who is being bullied or mistreated, it's important to address it. You never know what is going on in someone's life. They may already be feeling depressed or dealing with tough stuff at home, and that insult or shove might be the thing that makes them feel hopeless. If you notice someone in your school or community seems really down, angry, anxious or hopeless, reach out to them and offer support...or reach out to a parent or teacher and let them know you are worried.

14 Questions

14 Questions Students Can Ask to Make Their Schools More Caring and Safe Places For Middle and High School Students

Students sometimes feel like they don't have much say in what happens at school. You may wonder how you can make your school a more caring and safe place. One way you can help is by talking with adults at school about what they are doing to develop children's sense of responsibility for others and to make sure that students feel safe, respected, and able to learn.

These questions can encourage principals and teachers to think about what they're doing now– and also what they can do differently—to assure students feel safe and to build students' capacity for caring and respect. The adults in your school might not have answers to these questions right away. But by asking the questions, you can show them what matters to you. You can also suggest that students and adults together pick a few questions that are most important for your school community and meet on a regular basis to work on them.

You can ask these questions of your principal, assistant principal, guidance counselor, or other school staff, or you can share them with student representatives who meet with these leaders regularly.

  • Does our school regularly survey students about whether we feel safe, respected, and cared about? Are the answers shared with students and parents?
  • Is there a confidential way for students to report it when they feel unsafe or mistreated? How do students know about this?
  • Is there an adult in our school whose job it is to make sure that everyone feels safe and respected and that people treat each other well? Who is that person?
  • Does our school use a program that teaches social and emotional skills like conflict resolution, showing understanding and empathy for others, and being aware of our emotions?
  • How do we know that this program works? Are there any studies?
  • How do teachers and other staff know what they are supposed to do when they see bullying or other hurtful behavior?
  • Are they trained in how to stop bullying or other hurtful behavior when it happens? o Are they trained in how to keep it from happening in the first place?
  • How does our school work with students who act in aggressive or hurtful ways?
  • Besides punishment, how do adults help those students stop acting that way?
  • Are there any adults in charge in bathrooms, hallways, and other areas outside classrooms? Who are they?
  • How can students be involved in making decisions about some of the things that happen in our school? (For example, school values, community events, non-academic programming)
  • Does our school have a peer mediation or peer counseling program?
  • Does it cover race, class, gender, sexual orientation?
  • How and where is this policy presented to students and staff?