Anti-bullying and sexting awareness assembly held for area jr. high and high school students

Anti-bullying and sexting awareness assembly held for area jr. high and high school students

Nearly 500 Jr. high and high school students from area schools filled the Rock Port R-II gym to attend an anti-bullying and sexting awareness assembly on Friday, March 2, 2018.

Allyson Pereira, right, was the guest speaker at the anti-bullying and sexting awareness assembly at Rock Port R-II Friday, March 2, 2018. Allyson was awarded “Rising Young Woman of Change” from the NJ State House Assembly for her work in anti-bullying awareness and helping change New Jersey’s Sexting Law.

Jr. high and high school students from area schools attended an anti-bullying and sexting awareness assembly at Rock Port R-II Friday, March 2, 2018. Allyson Pereira was the guest speaker at the event.
Allyson’s story began like so many others across the nation. When she was 16 and a sophomore in New Jersey, a naked picture of her went viral when her ex-boyfriend forwarded it to everyone in his contact list. The picture ended up in the hands of thousands, from elementary age students to adults, to friends and family members, teachers, and strangers. The repercussions were immediate and the harassment spanned from public venues, school, friends’ homes, and even at her own home.
Though she kept quiet and denied it for years, she began to realize how telling her story could help other teenagers experiencing the same thing. She has been featured on MTV: Sexting in America, The View, HLN, Good Morning America, Fox News, MTV: Disconnected Aftershow, and Dr. Drew and has also been traveling to middle and high schools speaking to kids about the dangers of sexting and the repercussions of bullying.
Most recently, Ally helped change New Jersey’s sexting laws to get rid of the sex offender status and is currently working to change laws nationwide. She was recognized for her work from the New Jersey State House Assembly and awarded: “Rising Young Woman of Change.” She was also invited to The White House to speak about bullying.
The gym was packed with students who hopefully took Allyson’s words to heart and gained knowledge and a dose of caution in staying away from activities such as these. Hurtful words and actions can be detrimental to the health and well-being of not only the individual on the receiving end of the bullying, but also their family. It’s a life-altering experience and one of which we all hope our children steer clear. Be sure to talk to your child about the dangers of bullying and sexting and encourage them to support and speak up for anyone who has become a victim of such.

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