BWW Blog: Abigail Shapiro - No Bully

BWW Blog: Abigail Shapiro - No Bully

Hello Broadway World! Our 54 BELOW concert to launch our debut album is coming closer and closer! You can purchase tickets here: www.54below.com/artist/milly-abigail-shapiro/. We've decided to donate part of the proceeds of our CD and concerts to No Bully. Many people have been asking Milly and I about how we came to be involved with the No Bully organization and its specific purpose. Well, to those who were wondering, here's some more information on what they do and why we got involved.

Like with many other organizations, No Bully works to prevent and stop bullying. But what's different about their approach is that they've developed a profound system to achieve their objectives, based on research in neuroscience and evolutionary biology. Unlike ordinary anti-bully programs, No Bully focuses on teaching schools the rules and definition of empathy.

Their system includes four steps to remove a school's bullying problems. The first step is to "Prevent And Interrupt," by having the school's faculty stop any harassment they may encounter. As someone who has experienced bullying first hand, it's essential for teachers and other faculty members to actively watch for bullying and immediately interfere as soon as they notice harassment taking place, to help prevent it from progressing any further.

The second step is to have the staff "Check in and refer to a solution," whenever they find continuous bullying. The staff member should check with whoever may be the bully's target, and bring them to a solution coach. Having this step requires a system to be in place for a continued prevention of bullying, rather than trying to fixing it once and hoping that it doesn't happen again. So many instances of bullying are repeat offenses.

The third step is the "Hold a Solution Team and Follow Up," by putting together a group of students to fix the problem. Personally, I think this element of the No Bully program is what makes it really stand out-involving students and making them feel personally responsible for the safety and happiness of their fellow classmates. Rather than relying on the administration to be overseeing bullying, which of course is a part of the process, but they have many other tasks to focus on, this allows students to take action and help be part of the solution.

The final step is to "Implement an Empathy-Building Action Plan," if the bullying is proven consistent over the complete class, and with the Solution Coach, a plan is made to officially end the harassment. So far, this process has succeeded in many schools. This system has put an end to approximately 80% of cases in schools!

Milly and I specifically chose to partner with this organization, because of experiences we've had with bullying. I, myself, am passionate to put an end to bullying. It is such an unfortunate event that almost seems inevitable in and outside of schools, and I hope that one day we will be able to put an end to it.

Personally, I've been the victim and witness to bullying, mostly because of my height, appearance, and the art I pursue. Being bullied is discouraging and it lowered my confidence. Most these incidents occurred in extra-curricular, and summer activities, because I went to a Montessori school where bulling wasn't tolerated, so I guess I was a bit more vulnerable where the rules against bullying were less demanding. It's awful to be ostracized and harassed, and I hope that some day, it can be unheard of.

You may look at the No Bully website for more information at www.nobully.org. Well that's all for now folks! Thank you Broadway World, hope you've enjoyed this blog, and who knows, maybe you can do something to make a difference.

-Abigail Shapiro

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