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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cupcake War on Bullying

I won't soon forget the day my daughter came home from school and casually mentioned what had happened in her classroom that day: "After recess, we were all in our seats reading quietly when a boy who was not in our class -- Mom, he's not even in our grade, he's older than us! -- this boy walked right into our classroom and right up to Jason* and started punching him in the face."

At the time she told me this story, my daughter was in second grade.

I asked her, "What did your teacher do?"

"She didn't know what was happening at first, but she yelled for the boy to get out of her class, and followed him into the hall to bring him to the office."

"Did anybody know this big kid was going to go after Jason?"

"Well, some of us saw him at recess, he was teasing Jason and trying to fight. Jason was pretty scared, but when the bell rang we all just came inside."

As I watched my young girl tell me this story in her it's-just-what-happened-today tone, my heart broke a little as I hoped she wouldn't be exposed to too much of this at such a young age, to say nothing of the more severe violence which is so prevalent in schools worldwide.

Bullying in schools is a reality. Unfortunately, many students don't report bullying due to fear of retaliation. But now, those who witness bullying can be more empowered to speak up, thanks to SchoolTipline.

SchoolTipline** is a service which offers students an anonymous tip line, using text or going online to report bullying or other situations which compromise the safe school environment. SchoolTipline originated in Utah, and is used by over 300 schools nationwide, but currently only 35 schools in Utah, largely due to lack of funding.

Once again: Sweet Tooth Fairy to the rescue!

The Sweet Tooth Fairy is declaring a Cupcake War on Bullying in Utah. For every cupcake sold at any of the nine Sweet Tooth Fairy locations, 25 cents will be donated to Safe to Talk***, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to support SchoolTipline. The Sweet Tooth Fairy herself told me she wants to see SchoolTipline available in every school in Utah.

Let's review:

You buy a cupcake, and 25 cents goes toward giving Utah students access to SchoolTipline, a tool used to empower kids to speak up when they see, or experience, bullying.

Simple? Yes. Everybody wins? YES.

Which flavor will you choose?

*Name has been changed
**Check out the SchoolTipline graphic to see exactly how the system works
***Please visit the Safe to Talk site to see how they're making an impact (I recommend reading the case studies)


Gerb said...

Sweet Tooth Fairy was already my favorite cupcake place (seriously, there's no competition - I've tried others and they're just not the same). Now? I love them even more. I'm getting some of those cupcakes with the strawberry on top!

whitneyingram said...

I am going to be talking to my son about this and we will be getting cupcakes after school today. Thanks for the heads up. Ps post about this on Facebook often so we can be reminded of this admirable cause.

Jennifer said...

Great cause! I just learned that Provo City and the School District are wanting to put together an anti-bullying task force. Sounds like the Sweet Tooth Fairy herself might like to be on it. She (or anyone else who wants to be on the task force) can contact Greg Hudnall at PSD :)

Emily said...

This is super awesome! LOVE the idea!

Stephanie J Wong said...

Bullying in school has gotten so out of control! This cupcake idea is brilliant! :)

greenwood five said...

That is amazing! I live in Eastern Utah & Stop at Sweet Tooth Fairy almost every time we are up north. I am HAPPY to support this cause & hope we see this in our schools here. We need it. I too, listen in shock & heartbreak when my daughter tells me about "well, today at school..." and school staff need to be better educated & ready to act as well. Bullying is a serious issue & I hope to see it solved.