Former #Bully Tyler Gregory of @TheNOBULLGuys Confessesion & Apology: How the @NOBULLcontest Changed His Life

| October 22, 2013 | 0 Comments

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3.2 Million. That is the number of students who are victims of bullying per year. If you saw someone being bullied, would you do anything to stop it? If you were to ask me that question three years ago, I would’ve said absolutely not, if you ask me that question today, I would say without a doubt. Sept. 18, 2011, a young boy named Jamey took his own life because of bullying; this tragic event lit a fire inside of me to do everything in my power to stop this epidemic. I teamed up with my best friend, Scott Hannah and embarked on one of the most terrifying, rewarding, and inspirational journeys I could have possibly imagined.

I was never one to speak my opinion, I would always just observe. Observe people’s actions, reactions, and behaviors. When I heard about the suicide of this young boy, I realized maybe it was time to stop observing and time to start acting. Using all the observations that I gathered over the years, we started a kindness movement in our school. We wanted teens to use their words to build each other up, rather than tear each other down, we did this by students being able to write anonymous compliments about other students and we put the compliments on display for the whole school to see, surprisingly, this was a big success. Shortly after we started this movement, we heard about The Great American NO BULL Challenge. Little did we know that this discovery would change our lives forever.

The NO BULL Challenge is an anti-bullying/digital responsibility video contest. We thought that making a video would be an awesome way to stand up to bullying. We were not putting ourselves in danger by actually standing up to a bully, but we were making a video and letting our peers take away what they would from it. After getting together with 50 students, we filmed and with a lot of research and accidental miracles, put together an inspirational video. We did an assembly for our school, premiering our video and the response was mind blowing. We had victims coming up to us with tears in their eyes, bullies coming to us telling us that they were sick to their stomach because of the guilt they felt, and bystanders telling us they were ready to take action.

Did standing up to bullying, something I had never considered because I didn’t want to waste my time, actually work? Apparently so, because other schools started contacting us asking us to do our assembly at their school. All while this was happening, we found out that our video made it as a finalist for The NO BULL Challenge out of 270 videos, which meant we would get to fly to San Francisco to attend their annual Teen Video Awards. At the awards, we won The Shining Star award for our hard work and dedication to standing up and going above and beyond.

Shortly after getting back from California, we were invited to represent National 4-H at the 2012 Federal Partners in Bullying Summit in Washington D.C., this led us to being asked to be National Spokespeople for The NO BULL Challenge. This was a dream come true because we could continue to go around and speak and inspire other students to follow in our footsteps all while helping the non-profit that made our work possible.

Before we knew it, we were traveling all over the United States speaking at schools and conferences inspiring teens to take a stand. Right when we thought we were on top of the world, we got a deal with The Today Show and they wanted to share our story. It was a surreal feeling being able to share my story in front of an audience of millions of people. We have been able to work on anti-bullying initiatives with Cartoon Network, the government, and national organizations. What started as a small project in our school, evolved into something that was getting national attention and had no intent of slowing down.

Not only was our journey taking off, but being spokespeople for NO BULL, we got to help plan the 2013 Teen Video Awards and NO BULL Challenge`. The 2013 NO BULL Teen Video Awards awards was so spectacular, it went from being in San Francisco to Los Angeles and huge celebrities from Pretty Little Liars, Glee, and Disney Channel shows came to celebrate with the top 15 nominees who were standing up to bullying in their communities. At the 2013 Teen Video Awards, in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to reflect back on the past year and I realized a few things. I went from being someone who thought I could never make a difference in the world, to someone who was inspiring others to make a difference.

The first time that Scott and I heard someone tell us that if it weren’t for us coming to speak at their school, they wouldn’t be alive today was the moment that we realized that this is what we are meant to do. We go to college three days a week and on our two days off, we continue to travel the globe speaking and inspiring teens to stand up and make videos for The NO BULL Challenge. NO BULL has not only changed thousands of lives, but it changed ours forever. I am studying organizational leadership so that I can continue to work with non-profit organizations as a job.

I hope that whoever is reading this understands the power that they have to make a difference in the world. I am going to leave you with a quote by Stephen Grillet, “I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”

By: Tyler Gregory @TheNOBULLGuys

Editor’s Note: 

A special thank you to Melanie Gregory, for being an involved mom, who is not afraid to demand #NOBULL when she spots it! In the Today show video, there is mention of Melanie catching Tyler in an act of bullying.  Melanie was not having it! In no way do I wish to take away any credit from Tyler and Scott for their world-changing efforts to stop bullying on  a global level.  I just need to give credit to all parents who know there is a huge difference between unconditional love and unconditional tolerance.  As parents, there is a lot of behavior we simply should NOT tolerate, under any circumstances.  I also have to give credit to Melanie for asking herself what she was doing “wrong.”  Parents are often afraid to ask themselves this difficult question.  It was a brave and loving act for Melanie to do so.  She cared enough about her son and her community to reflect and determine what she could differently, then or now.  This entire family holds a special place in my heart for their Honesty, bravery, and commitment to Human Services and anti-bullying! I did cry when I read this post.  The thoughts of Melanie, along with knowing how passionate Tyler and Scott are about saving lives, makes me so proud to know them! ~Alicia Gonzalez

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Category: Relationships

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