October 24, 2014

Bullying Prevention

Starting off the 7th grade was exciting for Jillian Jensen, until she was bullied on her very first week, and it just kept getting worse.

“They prank called my house non stop to the point that my parents had to answer the phone pretending to be cops,” said Jensen. “Then I got a thought in my head that I could get an eraser and just erase myself and I would just disappear.”

Scenarios like this are happening all over the U.S. as nearly one in three kids fall victim to bullying at school.

“I was a victim of bullying in 7th grade, people commit suicide for it. It’s not cool to bully, it’s not something you should do,” said student, Katie Ludwiczak.

“When I was younger I was teased a little bit about my weight,” said 95th Street Public Library Multi-Media Associate, Mary Rogers.

As part of National Bullying Prevention month, Jensen, a former “X Factor” and “American Idol” contestant, shared her first hand experience at the 95th Street Public Library, in hopes to remind kids that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

“I think talking to them from my perspective is a little bit more enlightening and maybe a little bit more helpful, just because I get it, and also I get what it’s like coming out of it,” said Jensen.

Jensen talked about going through months of depression, and an eating disorder before going to therapy and tuning in to the one thing that made her feel better.

“I allowed music to be that pathway to that light, and I think that’s really important, finding what you love and letting it guide you through whatever dark times you’re having,” said Jensen.

President of Achieving Solutions Counseling, Kimberly Groll, has dealt with clients who have been affected by bullying and believes that creating better awareness can help stop it before it starts.

“It’s important to spread the word because bullying is hurtful,” said Groll. “How many people have said they they’ve been bullied and what has that led to? A suicide, and so we know that it’s a hurtful behavior and we know that it hurt others, so I think it’s important to get the word out and spread the word about bullying because we could prevent a life taken.”

Jillian hopes to do just that, continuing to share both her music and her message of stopping hate and starting love.


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