October is National Bullying Prevention Month; Our Nation’s Youth are at Risk

October 11th, 2022

A Grieving Family’s Call to Action: Buckets Over Bullying Launches Cyberbullying Pledge and Organizes a Social Media Safety Rally in Chicago Next Month

  • Buckets Over Bullying is a call to action following the untimely death of Nate Bronstein, a 15-year-old student tragically lost to suicide on January 13, 2022 after being relentlessly cyberbullied and told to “Go kill yourself!” by classmates at a Chicago independent school through text messages and Snapchat

  • Buckets Over Bullying to host a free Social Media Safety Rally in Chicago on November 5, 2022 for teens and their parents. The objective is to educate the community why it’s important to never use their digital devices as a weapon – a weapon that is killing kids across the U.S.

CHICAGO, Oct. 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Buckets Over Bullying, a non-profit initiative whose mission is to stop cyberbullying of children and teens through education, lawmaking and legal action, will host its first Social Media Safety Rally in Chicago next month.

Aimed at Chicago middle-schoolers, high schoolers and their parents, the Buckets Over Bullying Social Media Safety Rally, in partnership with The Organization for Social Media Safety and the Jesse White Foundation, will be held at the Jesse White Community Center located at 412 W Chicago Ave. on Saturday, November 5, 2022.  Click here for more information on the free event. Space is limited and registration to attend is required.

Buckets Over Bullying is the Bronstein family’s call to action. Their beloved son and brother, Nate Bronstein, took his own life on January 13, 2022 at the age of 15. He was harassed, humiliated and threatened by classmates at a Chicagoindependent school through text messages and social media. He received the ultimate threat (“Go kill yourself!”) via a Snapchat message.

My family saw firsthand the effects of cyberbullying with the loss of my son and we can no longer ignore the life-threatening effects of this epidemic. Cyberbullying is the most common danger for kids today and our organization is focused on taking action and creating change to put an end to this,” said Robert Bronstein, Co-Founder of Buckets Over Bullying. “Our children need better protections in place. We hope to rally our local community and unite communities across the country to take every action necessary to end this.”

The Nov. 5th Buckets Over Bullying Social Media Safety Rally will consist of two sessions, morning (10 a.m. CT) and afternoon (2 p.m. CT), led by experienced topical educators, Ed Peisner and Marc Berkman, the founder and CEO respectively, from The Organization for Social Media Safetyan award-winning, national nonprofit that protects families from social media-related dangers through education, advocacy, and technology development. They will present age-appropriate information for youth, grades 6-12, and their parents. Topics will include: preventing cyberbullying; how to fight back against social media addiction; understanding social media-motivated violence and how to help stop it; and safely reacting to and helping reduce hate speech on social media.

As part of the Nov. 5th rally, the amazing Jesse White Tumblers will perform and basketball trick shot social media sensation Tristan Jass will entertain attendees and speak to the importance of digital citizenship. Nick Ansom, aka Nico Naismith, founder of the Venice basketball league and the Hoop Bus, slam dunk and 3×3 street ball sensation Chris Staples and street baller Elvin Rodriguez who stars as “Mr. Everything” in Netflix’s new basketball film ‘Hustle’ produced by Adam Sandler and LeBron James will take the court and interact with attendees in a series of dunk contests, hoop games and a mini basketball game.

“The loss of Nate Bronstein has touched me deeply,” said Jass, who is also a Buckets Over Bullying board member. “I am certain that Buckets Over Bullying Social Media Safety Rally on Nov. 5 and all that is to follow from the initiative will allow Nate to continue to have a positive impact on the world. Nate will be making a difference each time someone takes the pledge to never use their device as a weapon. He will be making a difference each time a kid or adult speaks up and says something, rather than staying silent, when they witness cyberbullying. Who knows how many young lives Nate may save through his legacy.”

Nate Bronstein’s tragic loss is far from an isolated occurrence. Across the 50 states, there are innumerable heartbreaking stories of other digitally connected 10–19-year-olds who have taken their own lives as a result of cyberbullying. There is a growing body of both real world and clinical evidence showing that youth who experience cyberbullying through social media and other digital products face a measurable increased risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts.1234

“Since losing my son, I have connected with parents from across the United States, who like my family, are left to suffer and cope from these painful, senseless tragedies.” Nate’s mother Rose Bronstein said. “It is time to disrupt the status quo and push society out of its reactive response into a proactive stance against cyber abuse. And it begins with education. As we introduce The Organization for Social Media Safety to our community, we know their expert educational programming will resonate with students and parents and we hope these same students and parents will then request their respective schools to integrate this programming into their curriculum. All schools must and can improve cyber abuse safeguards and protocols to improve what they are currently doing to protect our children.”

Cyberbullying and the loss of our children to suicide is a national epidemic; for perspective, and by the numbers:

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-19 since 2001 when digital media use became more widespread among teens.5
    • In that time, more than 43,000 adolescents and teens died by suicide, more than those who died from homicide, cancer, and heart disease, and nearly enough to fill the New York Mets’ Citi Field in New York City.
  • More than one in six high school students reported being cyberbullied last year.6
  • A new U.S. government report shows cyberbullying is now the second largest discipline issue in public schools, more than doubling during the past decade.
  • Cyberbullying now occurs at least once a week at one in six schools compared to more than one in 12 schools in the 2009-107 school year when social media usage began to rapidly rise among youth.
  • In fact, cyberbullying is now a bigger discipline problem in schools than physical bullying, a reality that was not the case during the 2009-2010 school year.
  • Experts say that private schools face similar issues because bullying and cyberbullying is occurring across socioeconomic lines and geographies8 with 71 percent of 12-year-olds, 91 percent of 14-year-olds and 97 percent of 17-year-olds now having their own smartphones.9

If you or someone you know is in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts, call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and connect in English or Spanish. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing dial 711, then 988. Services are free and available 24/7.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness also offers support resources. The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.10 p.m., ET. Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), text “HelpLine” to 62640 or email us at helpline@nami.org

About Buckets Over Bullying:

Buckets Over Bullying is a non-profit initiative of The Bronstein Family Foundation whose mission is to eliminate cyberbullying of children and teens. The sports-centric initiative is a call to action following the untimely death of Nate Bronstein, a 15-year-old Chicago student tragically lost to suicide on January 13, 2022 after being relentlessly cyberbullied and told to “Go kill yourself!” by classmates and teammates through text messages and Snapchat at a Chicago independent school. Through education, lawmaking and legal action, Buckets Over Bullying seeks to prevent what happened to 15-year-old Nate and countless others, encourage upstanding digital citizenship, and advocate for the accountability of cyberbullies and those who enable them.

1 A 2022 National Institutes of Health (NIH)-backed clinical study of more than 10,000 kids found that kids who experience cyberbullying face a measurable increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts
2 Targets of cyberbullying are at a greater risk than others of both self-harm and suicidal behaviors (John et al., 2018)
3 Students who experienced bullying or cyberbullying are nearly 2 times more likely to attempt suicide (Hinduja & Patchin, 2018)
4 Suicide ideation and attempts among adolescents have nearly doubled since 2008 (Plemmons et al., 2018)
5 U.S. National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS)
6 U.S. Centers for Disease Control Youth Violence Bullying Research
7 2022 U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics Report on Indicators of School Crime and Safety
8 2022 U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics Report on Indicators of School Crime and Safety
9 The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens, 2021

SOURCE Buckets Over Bullying

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