Spread the word to stop bullying and add "upstander" to the dictionary!

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Spread the word to stop bullying and add "upstander" to the dictionary!

This petition had 2,568 supporters
Katy Butler with The BULLY Project started this petition to Chief Editor, Oxford English Dictionary Michael Proffitt and

Upstander n.  A person who chooses to take positive action in situations where individuals are being harmed or in the face of injustice in society.

When I was in middle school, I was bullied all the time for being gay.  Kids called me unspeakable names, and violently attacked me. One day, one group of guys even slammed my hand into my locker, breaking my finger, laughing as they did it.  So many people – students, teacher and even parents ­– just watched it all happen. They were all bystanders, and no one was teaching them otherwise.   

The worse thing about this is that it wasn't just happening to me. Bullying affects over 13 million kids a year.

Back then, although the word bystander was widely known, we did not have a word to describe those being more than a bystander, those people actively standing up for each other, an act that would have made the world of difference for kids like me. But a lot has changed since I was at school. Today, we DO have a word, and that word is upstander.

Thousands of people today are mobilizing around the term upstander, and taking action to help others in their schools and communities all over the world. Research shows that over 50% of the time, when an upstander intervenes, a bullying situation is stopped in less than 10 seconds. So, imagine how many more upstanders, and how much less bullying there could be if the word was in the dictionary!

Thousands of schools around the world are teaching words that have not been recognized, and this just has to change, especially when I look at all the frivolous words that HAVE been added in the last year; words like Fratty, Jeggings, totes and double-double.

This is why I,  along with Sarah Deker, Monica Mahal, the Bully Project and a coalition of supporters and organizations, are petitioning for upstander to be added to the Merriam Webster and Oxford English Dictionary. 

Standing up for what's right is our responsibility. Please sign and share our petition to #addupstander.

Katy Butler
Monica Mahal & Sarah Decker
The BULLY Project
Facing History & Ourselves
Bystander Revolution
Not In Our School
National School Climate Center
They Say Project

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