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Bullying is a huge problem that affects a lot of people. Every kind of bullying is as bad as the rest. Adults get bullied too. One out of four kids get bullied and 85% of the time no one intervenes. School should be a safe place for all but has become a battle ground of intolerance.

One of the nicest and smartest girls in my class gets bullied. The kids call her a teacher’s pet and she doesn’t do anything wrong. She has even been a victim of cyber bullying. I was being bullied in first grade, I just moved to a new school. The first day I walked in there was a group of girls that mocked me. All I said was “Hi, my name is Elayna.” They were mocking me. I thought one of the mean girls was just having a bad day, but the next day it was worse. After two weeks of crying, I finally told my mom everything that was happening.

People get bullied for their gender, religion, ethnicity, and even for having a disability. Even famous people that you wouldn’t expect to be bullied, are bullied. Lady Gaga, Demi Lavto, and even some of my favorite stars are or have been bullied. I love Carrie Underwood and would love to sing along with Selena Gomez to her song “Who Says”. People don’t need a reason to bully.

My words of wisdom, coming from a eleven year old, are to stay positive and even to smile at the bully even if they say something you don’t like. Have someone role play with you so that you know how to handle the bully with confidence. Even if you have to fake the confidence. If you practice it, then you will become confident.

Make sure you tell an adult. To adults that have children that are being bullied, recognize the behavior and notice if your child is acting different than usual. That’s a good key that something is not right.

Even try to be nice to the bully. We all have growing pains and have experiences that hurt us. Sometimes people that are hurting hurt others because they don’t know any different.

If you see someone that is being bullied, speak up. You may think it’s making a small difference, but it will mean lot to the person that is being hurt. If we all would help one another then the world would be so much nicer. It takes love, compassion, strength, and forgiveness to overcome bullying. Friends that help pull us up make it even easier.

Finally the most important thing is that beauty comes from within and true beauty like that is power. It doesn’t matter what people think of your outside. Appearance changes from year to year. Our hearts don’t.

This is what I think true beauty is… it’s making a difference in one’s community, being kind to a stranger, standing up for what is right (especially if it’s tough), and making healthy choices. Making those choices will give you confidence and confidence will help you overcome all bullies, even sometimes our biggest bully… ourselves.

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Elayna Marie Hasty is the founder of G.A.B. Girls (Girls Against Bullying Girls)....

At 9 years old I came up with the idea of G.A.B. Girls. My mom has always told me that even one person can make a positive difference and that's what is one of my main goals. I have been active as a volunteer in several organizations since I was 6 years old. In addition to GAB Girls, my local animal shelter is very important to me.

I am a typical energetic girly girl who enjoys cheerleading, writing in my journal and being with my family. I have always liked and wanted to help others. Since I was 6 years old I wanted to be a "pet doctor" and now I know that it is called a veterinarian. Maybe someday I'll be a "people doctor" but whichever I become I know I'll be helping animals or people that need help. Like God says in Ephesians 4:13, I CAN do ALL things through Christ which strengthens me!

For more information, please visit GAB Girls

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