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General Purpose: To persuade

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Specific Purpose: To persuade my audience to call their local school board and demand that they implement stricter penalties for school bullies. Thesis Statement: According to the Center for Disease Control suicide is the third leading cause of death between 15-24 year olds and the second leading cause between the ages of 25-34 but together we can change that. Introduction

I. On September 07, 2012 Amanda Todd uploaded a video to her YouTube account. She tells us about how a few years prior she had been video chatting with someone that she had met online and how she was flatter by him. This man asked her to flash him on camera and she did. The man then took it upon himself to take a picture of Amanda flashing him, he then started stocking her on the internet and asking her to do it again but Amanda refused so he decided to send the picture to all of her friends on Facebook. Amanda had to move schools after that. Once at her new school she began talking to an old guy friend who later invited her to his house where they were intimate together. The following week everyone knew about it and the guy’s girlfriend and many of her friends confronted her about it. Amanda’s father later found her lying in a ditch beat up. Amanda attempted suicide after that by drinking Clorox but it didn’t work. Once word got out about the attempted suicide, things just got worse.

People started posting cruel comments on her Facebook page, Amanda couldn’t take the bullying anymore and ended her life on October 10th of 2012. II. According to the Center for Disease Control suicide is the third leading cause of death between 15-24 year olds and the second leading cause between the ages of 25-34 but together we can change that (Center for Disease Control, 2014). My name is Jocelynn Silva and I am here today to talk to you about bullying and to persuade you to call your local school board and demand that they implement stricter penalties against school bullies. III. I am going to begin by telling you of the many forms that people can be bullied. Next, I will talk to you about warning sign that you can look for if you think that someone you know is being bullied. Finally I will tell you how you can take action against bullying so that we can make our schools a safer learning environment for our kids.

Transition: So, What kind of people would spend so much time and effort making a person’s life a living hell? The answer to that is bullies. Body
I. Bullying takes on many different forms and can cause a huge amount of distress to the person being bullied but if we call for action against bullying we can prevent that. a. The National Center Against Bullying lists several forms of bullying such as; Physical bullying which includes hitting, kicking, tripping, and pushing, Verbal bullying which is name calling, insults, teasing, and homophobic or racial remarks, Hidden bullying which is harder to recognize and can be carried out behind the bullied person’s back and is designed to harm someone’s social reputation and/or cause humiliation, and of course cyberbullying which is done through social media, instant messaging, texts, and websites (National Center Against Bullying, n.d.).

b. According to Forbes.com a study by the American Journal of Psychology found that being bullied frequently as a child was associated with greater risk for depression, anxiety, and suicide compared to non-victimized peers (Walton, 2014). Transition: It is hard to believe that many people are put through these situations and many times we don’t even know that it is happening but there is several ways for us to spot the signs of bullying. II. Stopbullying.gov states that some of the warning signs a victim of bullying may display include: unexplainable injuries, hurting themselves by cutting or burning, they appear moody, anxious, depressed or withdrawn, and may exhibit low self-esteem (Stopbullying.gov, n.d.).

a. In my bullying experience I did display several of these signs and I can’t even begin to tell you how much it affected me in my everyday life. I wouldn’t of had been bullied as much had people called our school board, like I am asking you to do today, and demanded stricter penalties against bullies. Transition: How many of you today have children or siblings? Most of you do. So, wouldn’t you want to prevent them from going through all the pain that Amanda did? III. Now, during my time in school bullying was taking place all around me because bullies knew that the consequences weren’t all that bad. I mean sitting in in school detention isn’t much of a punishment and we need to change that! a. Getting involved in your child’s school is the first step. Schools are always announcing PTA meetings and by attending them you can voice your concern about bullying and ask questions. Most of the time teachers have no idea that bullying is even taking place and sometimes a child’s complaints go unheard so get involved and petition your school to add a program that advocates anti-bullying.

b. Write a letter or email to your local newspaper about the growing issue of bullying and the lack of rules against bullying in your school district. This will not only draw attention to it but will also prompt our schools to take action against bullying. Stopbullying.gov recommends schools to do assessments to help them determine how often bullying occurs, where it happens, how students and adults intervene, and whether their current prevention efforts are working (Stopbullying.gov, n.d.). Many states have also taken action against bullying and have created Anti-Bullying laws so check your states laws to see if they have implemented laws protecting our children from bullies and if they haven’t you can start an online petition by visiting Change.org and use social media to your advantage. It takes more than one person’s voice to make a difference so encourage your friends, relatives and colleagues to sign it and share it with their friends and so on. Transition: Remember that you are not alone and that there is always someone out there who is willing to listen. Conclusion

I. There are many stories out there of people committing suicide because of bullying and Amanda Todd is only one of those stories. II. As you have heard today, bullying can take on many forms and leave long lasting effects on a victim. I have also discussed ways that you can spot the warning signs of bullying as well as what you can do to put a stop to bullying in our schools. III. I encourage you to become more informed about bullying so that you will have all the information you need if you are ever faced with a similar situation. After you leave here today, I am challenging you to pick up your phone and contact your local school board and demand that they implement serious penalties for school bullies and by taking a few minutes of your day to do this we will be making our schools a safer place for our students. Thank you.

(n.d.). Retrieved from Stopbullying.gov: http://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/warning-signs/index.html (2014, April). Retrieved from Center for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/bullying-suicide-translation-final-a.pdf National Center Against Bullying. (n.d.). Retrieved from National Center Against Bullying: http://www.ncab.org.au/parents/typesofbullying/ Walton, A. G. (2014, April 18). Retrieved from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/04/18/the-effects-of-childhood-bullying-can-last-a-lifetime/

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