Local campaign aimed at ending bullying in area schools

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - To be honest is a term that has taken on strong meaning on social media websites like Facebook and users will in turn often criticize others openly but one group from LSU is hoping To Be Honest will develop into a platform for putting an end to bullying.

"I faced a lot of bullying, about my height, about my size. A lot of things I could not control," said one participate in the campaign.

Former LSU Soccer standout and Homecoming Queen Mo Isom and other LSU student athletes lend their voices to an issue that has become an ongoing trend.

"I stand for looking out for others."

It's a message that a group of LSU students including Jacquelyn Duhon hopes will catch on with middle school students in the Baton Rouge Area. Duhon and her classmates started To Be Honest as part of a national public relations competition with other colleges and along with making presentations to local schools, their campaign includes Twitter and Facebook pages and a website where students can view and share testimonials.

"Whenever they go to the website we want it to be visually appealing to them and that is where color scheme came from. We really wanted to get on their level so when they see it they can relate and say that's me and then read through it and then help them deal with it," said Duhon.

Jensen Moore teaches strategic communication at LSU and says school administrators face major challenges trying to minimize cyber-bullying and a local campaign like To Be Honest gives students a chance to address threatening behavior and make changes.

"It's the stuff they are going to go home and see on their computers or on their smart phones and in that way they carry it around with them 24 hours a day and seven days a week. They can always look at those messages and always feel the pain that they experienced when they first read it or saw it," said Moore.

The To Be Honest campaign wraps up at the end of the month but area organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Baton Rouge and BREC have gotten on board and are planning on incorporating the message into their student programs.

"We hope it goes beyond the kids we're talking to directly and that's kind of our goal to get the word out to everyone," added Duhon.

In just over two weeks, the To Be Honest campaign has received over 300 pledges to end bullying and the website has had close to one thousand hits. A trend Duhon and her group believe will grow as the word spreads.

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