Letter: CAB establishes Douglas County Upstanders

Dear Editor,
I wish to provide some information about Tuscola CAB (Citizens Against Bullying) and our purpose. Soon we will be known as Douglas County Upstanders. Bullying is a universal problem and we are hoping to reach out to other communities to help educate about bullying and how to promote people being upstanders instead of bystanders. Suicide happens to all races, religions, genders, ethnicities. We would also like to spread awareness of suicide prevention.

Schools in this area perceive that bullying is not a problem for their community. However, one out of every five students are bullied at some point. Forty-three percent tell an adult. But 57 percent of the time it stops when a peer intervenes. Bullying is NOT teasing, conflict, exclusion, or impulsive aggression. It is unwanted aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance that is repeated or has the potential to repeat. It can be physical, mental, emotional, or sexual. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among the ages of 10-34. In 2016, there were twice as many suicides as homicides.

CAB has been perceived as a negative in this community. We have been told that there is not a bullying problem in our schools or community. But for those of us who have been the victim or the witness of bullying we know that it does happen, and it isn’t just our community. It is a worldwide problem that can have devastating consequences. Being bullied at times may lead to depression, anxiety, acting out, drug/alcohol use, and in some instances may lead to suicide.

CAB is interested in working with the community to help educate others on how to be upstanders. We are looking to help teach children and others on being kind to all and helping engage the community in positive experiences. We would like to reach out and ask people to be part of change.

Some of our goals this summer and fall are to be visible to the community. We would like to recognize everyday people who are caught doing extraordinary things for others.  Please look for us at local parades, fairs, markets. If you are interested in being part of a positive change, please contact us at tuscolacab@gmail.com or follow us on Facebook at our page Douglas County Upstanders.

Thank you,
Michelle Dellorso and Sandi Cruzan

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