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Taking a Stand: Nasir Andrews’ Bulllying Experience Gives Others and Voice and Advocates Change

Bullying, the definition of the word is that it is an unwanted, aggressive behavior among children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Statistics show that only about 20-30% of students who are bullied notify adults about the bullying. As October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, Urban Tymes got the opportunity to talk with Nasir Andrews and her family about how this behavior affected Nasir, and prompted her to post a YouTube video in June documenting her experience being bullied, and to take action to create this incredible movement called #Back Down Bully.

UT: Nasir, what happened to you as well as other children today, being bullied, is totally unacceptable. The names called, the negative words and pictures drawn…but please, tell our reader your thoughts and feelings about what happened.

Nasir: Ok, so my thought about bullying is that it doesn’t feel good getting bullied. You shouldn’t bully other people. Just because you are going through an experience, doesn’t mean you should put other people through a bad situation or a bad experience. You affect people when you say mean things, or spread rumors about people, or just being mean or no reason!

UT: Very true! Parents, what are your thoughts about this subject?
Dad: Right, so one of the things that we had experienced and discussed as a family is how in a lot of cases bullying for a lot of individuals who have been bullied or who have experienced some sort of personal trauma, leads to them acting out one way or another. So understanding that bullying is kind of a two way healing process, where the individual who was being bullied as well as the individual who was the bully, both have something to work out and discuss that could potentially bring about some change and healing.
Mom: To share my thoughts, it seems to me that bullying particularly in schools is an epidemic that is claiming the lives of our youth; the result is a fatality or suicide committed by this child that’s being bullied. Often times the child feels like its normal and they don’t feel safe to share or disclose their experiences even with their family members. It’s one of the things that is plaguing the lives and having an effect on the future of our youth because they are taking their lives at a higher rate than we’ve expected over time. To have base conversations in the schools, and have policies that are set to protect our youth, it (bullying) can virtually be eliminated if we make a conscious effort to be aware of the safety and of the well-being of our youth.

UT: We see that in schools today that bullying can go unnoticed while the school in question will go through “protocol”. Question Nasir, what prompted you to do this on your mom’s social media page?
Nasir: I was sitting down on the couch and just looking on YouTube and I saw this girl doing her bullying story with cards, and I thought it would be a good idea to post on Facebook for my family and friends to know what was going on. It ended up going viral and people started to get the message!

UT: So, Mom, when Nasir came to you wanting to do this, what was your thoughts and feelings at that time?
Mom: Well we wanted to know the why behind it. Because we have experienced and Nasir has experienced so many dead ends with just trying to find an administrator or teacher who would listen. We raise our children with the understanding that it takes a village to raise a child. We were supportive in her wanting to share her experiences and what’s been going on with our family. Of course when we transitioned to a new state, everyone was excited, and hopefully you are having a great transition and how are you doing? But unfortunately the realities that come with answering that question, the way that you express it or share it, Nasir’s was very traumatic and impactful. So we fully supported her and allowed her to share it in that way.

UT: So we know that bullying is unacceptable, and because of this, bullying can cause a lasting effect on the person bullied and the bully. The concept behind #BackDownBully, how did that come about?
Nasir: Well I was making the video and I was like, “I have to come up with a hashtag.” My parents was like “what do you want bullies to do?” I said “I want them to back down! So we can make a hashtag Back Down Bully!”

The family has stated that Back Down Bully is an organization that will be an advocate for those children that are bullied and provide education, direction and much needed support to families during this traumatic time in their child’s life. With advocates in many states and partnerships with various organizations, the organization has created as Mrs. Andrews stated, “a village to raise a child” a community of support and empowerment.
To learn more about Back Down Bully, to contact an advocate for assistance and direction, or even volunteer and become an advocate, visit:

https://www.backdownbully.org/
mailto:info@backdownbully.org