Two teenage bullies from Ohio have changed their ways and have found a creative method for addressing the issue.
It began innocently enough, when high school students Elizabeth Chenoweth and Scott Hannah struck up a teen romance, reports Little Things. But when Scott’s best friend, Tyler Gregory, began bullying Elizabeth online, Scott joined in. The two boys made fun of Elizabeth online and on the phone, calling her “ugly” and referring to her as a “troll.”
As Elizabeth explains, during one of Scott and Tyler’s abusive phone calls, a girl Elizabeth didn’t know got on the line and told her to kill herself.
Several months later, after causing Elizabeth untold emotional harm, Scott and Tyler learned about a 14-year-old boy who committed suicide after being the victim of constant bullying.
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It was then they realized that bullying is wrong, and produced an anti-bullying video. The video landed them roles as spokespersons for The Great American No Bull Challenge, a national anti-bullying campaign.
“It’s wrong how you’re putting other people down to lift yourself up,” said Tyler in a report by Marlo Thomas on the "Today Show." Thomas was on the show to announce the launching of her “Be More Than a Bystander” campaign, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, among other organizations.
The campaign defines bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.”
According to Thomas, “70 percent of students have witnessed bullying online,” and “awareness of the issue on on the rise.” With the presidential election of Donald Trump, whom The Washington Post editors have called “Bully in Chief,” that trend is likely to continue.
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Fortunately for Elizabeth, her tormentors had a change of heart and, following their apology to her, she has been able to put the incident behind her. “Nothing can bring me down now,” she says.