Sticks and stones may break your bones and words most certainly will hurt you.
But instead of fighting back with words of her own, Ga’nyiah Andrus went the other direction. She began creating posters and filling them with positive messages to combat bullying at school.
“This one tells you how you can stop bullying,” says Andrus indicating a poster on the wall of J.W. Faulk Elementary School. “And I wrote a note about it.”
The posters were created, Andrus says, because she felt bad for those affected by bullying and wanted to create change. Her efforts paid off.
Scores of posters now fill the halls of J.W. Faulk Elementary in Lafayette, all of them with inspiring messages meant to lift up those who are dealing with the effects of bullying.
It’s something that makes Ga’nyiah’s mom proud.
“I thought it was cool that she did the poster because it wasn’t something they told her to do,” says Ga’nyiah’s mother Tangie. “She took the initiative to make a poster and speak more about bullying.”
Ga’nyiah’s mother says her daughter’s steps to stand up against bullying shows her that she’s listening and that, hopefully, the bullying will stop.
And while not speaking up may have been the case in the past at J.W. Faulk, that’s not the case anymore.
“People don’t deserve it,” says student Mackenzi Simpson.
Many of the students participating in Ga’nyiah’s anti-bullying campaign agree that having their voices heard is the only way to put a stop to the cruel words of others.
“First, I have this girl and she’s getting bullied by this girl and she’s very sad. We’re at the playground,” says Kaylee Fournoy while showing off her anti-bullying posters. “And in this one, I made my cute little pink bow because I love the color pink. And this one, they’re making friends. It says, ‘be kind, not mean.'”
Something that started as a way for a little girl to deal with a bully has turned into a campuswide push to end it all together.
Do you know an amazing kid here in Acadiana that you’d like to see on GMA? Email GMA Co-anchor Katie Lopez with your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.