AFN and DODEA Teaming Up to Fight Bullying

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AFN and DODEA Teaming Up to Fight Bullying

by: George A. Smith | .
AFN Public Affairs | .
published: October 17, 2015

The American Forces Network (AFN) is teaming with the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) to raise awareness on body image bullying and encourage students to Tweet, post or send positive messages about their families and classmates on social media.  
The AFN|family channel is featuring a “Stop Bullying: Body Positive” anti-bullying event on October 25 which caps off National Bullying Prevention Month with a focus on both male and female body image bullying.

“Today, our kids are bombarded with thousands of messages about how their looks don’t measure up in one way or another.  Fat shaming and even picking on those deemed too thin are common topics for jokes and meanness,” said AFN|family programmer Myia Alston. “AFN is putting these types of behaviors under the microscope with movies and specials.  We have information and links on how to prevent and deal with body image issues or bullying on our TV blog at myafn.net.”

"This is a wonderful way for both organizations to engage and empower our students in the important work of building awareness and supporting safe learning environments where all students can thrive," said Jasmine McLeod, DoDEA’s School Counseling Instructional Systems Specialist.
This is the second year AFN and DoDEA have partnered on bullying. Something new this year is encouraging students to catch each other doing something good, and shout out about it on social media.

“We’re promoting the hashtag #MilKidsProps.  It’s a way for military kids of all ages to take to social media and send positive messages to and about their friends and classmates,” said Alston.

A #MilKidsProps” could be something worthy of a Facebook “like” or a Twitter “favorite,” like a student bringing home an assignment to a sick friend, or sticking up for someone getting picked on.

“Stop Bullying: Body Positive” begins October 25 on AFN|family, starting at 1 p.m. (Central European Time/Japan Korea Time) with NFL Characters Unite, NFL stars sharing deeply
personal stories of facing hardships in their lives and mentoring young people currently struggling to fit in. The Fat Boy Chronicles, at 2 p.m., tells the story of an overweight 14-year-old boy focusing on losing weight, achieving his goals and trying to win over the girl of his dreams.  To Be Fat Like Me, begins at 3:30 p.m., and is about a fit teenager who puts on a fat suit to gain experience of the hardships facing overweight students.  Starving in Suburbia, starts at 5:30 p.m. and is about a 17-year-old dancer who joins a "thinspiration" website. A Teen vs. Cyberbullying: Trisha Prabhu airs at 3:23 and 5:23 p.m..  Prabhu is a teenager who has been honored at the White House. She recently sat down and talked with AFN about how she became motivated to develop anti-bullying software.