Bully movie inspires two Dubuque girls - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Bully movie inspires two Dubuque girls

Eighth graders Tayler Reynolds and Chelsea Molzof want to reinvigorate their school's Anti-Bullying Alliance. Eighth graders Tayler Reynolds and Chelsea Molzof want to reinvigorate their school's Anti-Bullying Alliance.

A trend to curb bullying and raise awareness about its devastating effects is growing nationwide, and Iowa is no exception.

On Thursday evening in downtown Dubuque's Washington Park, the Riverview Center held a bullying prevention rally.

It was a documentary the Riverview Center brought to Dubuque in the spring, however, that inspired two Dubuque students to take a stand.

Tayler Reynolds and Chelsea Molzof, two 13-year-old eighth graders at Dubuque's Jefferson Middle School, have been friends since fifth grade. It's no surprise, then, that when the two went to see the Bully movie, a documentary about the negative impact bullying has, the girls had the same reaction.

"We just want to help everyone that's getting bullied and hopefully stop what the bullies are doing," Reynolds said Thursday afternoon at school.

"I want the bullies to understand what they're doing to the people that they're bullying, how much it hurts them," Molzof said, sitting next to her.

After seeing the film, the girls approached school counselor Paula Baumann about building upon Jefferson's Anti-Bullying Alliance, which was created just last year.

"You know, maybe kids would be more likely to come forward if they felt like there was a support network for them from other kids, so we're willing to give it a shot - especially because they took the initiative," Baumann said.

The girls plan on meeting soon with the Riverview Center to help build this after-school anti-bullying program.

"I stick up for myself, but there's a lot of kids that you can point out that always get bullied and cannot stick up for themselves because they're too scared," Molzof said. "It's just not right."

"I think another part of it is getting kids to speak up for other kids," Baumann said." You'll hear that a lot: is that the bystanders make a big difference. Once one person starts to say, 'Hey, that's not right,' or, 'Stop that,' or, 'That's not being nice,' it really changes the dynamics with a group."

It's a culture of standing up for one another the girls hope to grow.

Statewide, the Iowa Department of Education is implementing a new data collection system for incidents of bullying and harassment. Governor Branstad is also holding a bullying prevention summit in November.

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