Megan Meier Day brings attention to bullying

Megan Meier Day brings attention to bullying

RB students and staff pose out front of the building to commemorate Megan Meier Day.

Taylor Owen, Staff Reporter

Suicide is the third leading cause of death in people 15 to 24 years of age.  There are many factors that can lead to teen suicide. Bullying is one of the most prominent reasons.

Megan Meier became a victim of teen suicide on October 17, 2006 in Dardenne Prairie, Missouri. A few weeks before her 14th birthday she chose to take her own life due to bullying through the website MySpace.

Senior Trevor Zaremba, a board member of the Gay Straight Alliance said, “Some of the members of GSA decided to have Megan Meier day to remember Megan and acknowledge bullying at RB.”

Bullying is defined as: a person or group who are repeatedly trying to harm someone weaker. This can be done one of two ways, direct or subtle. Direct bullying is done through physical violence and subtle bullying is done through spreading rumors or excluding someone.

The effects of bullying are seen even at RB.

Zaremba said, “I think there is not the stereotypical bullying at RB. I have seen it first hand and I know that the bullying is more mental bullying rather than the traditional name calling.”

Last year Megan’s mom, Tina Meier, spoke to some of the RB students about all the difficult things her and her family had to deal with because of the decision Megan made. The students were very touched by her story and decided to spread the message about suicide and the effects of it.

Zaremba said, “Megan’s favorite thing to wear was black and white polka dots, so we told everyone to wear black and white. We also had black and white polka dotted ribbons that people could wear.”

October 17, 2011 was the five year anniversary of Megan’s death. In commemoration the students at RB dressed in black and white and wore black and white ribbons. This is a symbol to RB to stop bullying and think about the harm words and actions can do to people.

Zaremba said, “The Megan Meier day was a spur of the moment thing so I was shocked at how quickly people acted and how many people wore black and white.”

If you are a bystander, one who witnesses bullying:

Interrupt It ~ Stand next to, or speak up for the person being bullied. Ask the bully to stop.  Comfort the person being bullied, try to take them away from the situation and offer friendship.

Get Help ~ Walk away, get help and find an adult who can intervene.  Many times students don’t want to get involved for fear that they will be the next target of the bully or be tagged as a snitch.  If this is the case, try to go with a few students to talk about the situation or report it anonymously through our new webpage under the Student tab.

If you are the bully . . . Make a Commitment to Change ~ Talk to an adult, like a guidance counselor or parent, about how to get along with others. Apologize to the kids you have bullied.

Together we can work to make RB a safer place for all.