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Thousands of MA Students to Rally Against Bullying

December 12, 2011

BOSTON - More than 4,000 high school and middle school students and their teachers will gather at Northeastern University on Tuesday to confront the bullying issue. The first-ever Stand Up to Bullying event is being billed as the largest such gathering in the nation. Organizers say STAND UP 2011 has been created to educate, motivate and empower young people to actively promote positive social change in their schools and communities.

Dr. Elizabeth Englander is director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University. She says it's important for the victims of bullies to know they are not alone.

"They're going to realize that they're not the only person who thinks about this or is worried about it. They're not the only one who has seen it happen or maybe who has been targeted by it."

A highlight of the event will be a "town hall meeting" to examine and discuss the issue of bullying with a diverse group of students.

Englander says the problem has gotten worse over the past several years.

"It's partly because of the advent of electronic communications and the opportunity that digital attraction gives kids."

Things like Facebook make it easier to bully because there is no face-to-face communication, she adds.

More information is availalbe at www.standup2011.org.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - MA