football players and bullyingIt’s easy to focus only on tragic stories related to bullying (i.e. Amanda Todd’s death), giving parent more tips on how to keep their child safe or looking at how bullying has long term mental and physical health consequences. It’s also important to recognize that people are stepping up and changing our bullying culture! Personally, after a harrowing week post-Sandy and still experiencing the effects of the devastating storm, it was refreshing to find something optimistic to blog about this week.

Chy Johnson, a high school freshman in Queen Creek, AZ, has been the target of bullying. She is different than her peers due to a brain disorder and has been picked on because of it. Her mother reached out to a family friend’s son who happened to be the high school quarter back, Carson Jones.

As the news article reports, Chy’s mother reached out to Carson to find out what was happening to her daughter. Carson – and some of his football team members – took it upon themselves to befriend Chy. They became the upstanders to bullies, being the epitome of what is cool and popular in American high school culture indicated that bullying should no longer be the status quo in their community.

It takes a lot of courage to stand up to your peers, especially if you have a lot to lose. In high school, social status can me everything and these boys put it out on the line. Their act of bravery has meant the world to Chy, “They save me because I won’t get hurt again.” 

Football player photo available from Shutterstock