A small but smiling crowd rallied at UNM as part of the Don't Just Stand There! Stop Bullying Now campaign. The rally's diversity illustrated the far-reaching impact of bullying.
Analisa Torres, an organizer of the rally, said the purpose of the event was to raise awareness about bullying prevention and show that bullying is not accepted in this community. The larger campaign included a series of commercials during October, Bullying Awareness Month, she said.
Don't Just Stand There! Stop Bullying Now is funded by Albuquerque Public School's Safe Schools Healthy Students Initiative. Additional sponsors are the UNM Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Resource Center, Bernalillo County, EDiThouse Production and Keshet Dance Company.
The Safe Schools Healthy Students Web site offers information and resources for bullying prevention and those seeking help. The site states: "Children and youth who are bullied tend to have more headaches, sleeping problems, and stomach aches than children who are not bullied. They also have higher rates of moderate depression and thoughts of suicide than kids who aren't bullied.
"As children who are involved in bullying behavior grow up, they tend to commit more crimes, report higher rates of alcoholism and commit more spousal abuse than those who did not bully others when they were younger."
Chris Delgado, vice president of the UNM-Valencia Student Government, said he was picking up Lobo basketball tickets when he saw the rally and decided to join. "I like helping, especially at UNM," he said.
"I was bullied a lot, but then I pushed back," he said, urging others to stand up to bullying.
Contact the LGBTQ Resource Center at (505) 277-0834 or firstname.lastname@example.org.