We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Caroline Dixon, of Homosassa, Florida. This summer, she was crowned Junior Miss American Beauty 2013! Caroline shared with us about her platform related to cyberbullying. We enjoyed interviewing our latest Hero and learning more about why she chose this topic for her platform.
After Caroline learned from her own experience that the best way to deal with a cyber bully was to speak up and to tell someone that you need help and to make sure the bully knows what they are doing is wrong, she began watching social network sites that she was familiar with for signs that others were being bullied online. When she saw a post that she knew was hurtful to someone, she contacted the individual that the post was about and told them, even if she didn’t know them, that she was there if they needed someone to talk to about it. She then contacted the individual making the post and informed them that what they were doing was cyber bullying and that they needed to remove the post immediately or face the consequences for their actions. The bully sometimes tried to defend what they were doing, or tried to attack Caroline, too, but she kept repeating the message that what they were doing was wrong. She has been successful in helping stop several cases of online bullying by just being willing to stand up for others and to let the bullies know what they were doing was wrong.
On Saturday, August 31, 2013, Caroline participated in the “Take a Stand” family event in Hernando County, Florida. She interfaced with individuals at a booth where they could have pictures taken with her and she distributed her anti-cyberbulling message. She was also asked to say a speech at the event and was excited about the opportunity to share her message.
One way she plans to offer her assistance is through a Cyber Bullying Advice Page she set up on ASK.FM. Her page states, “This is for those who need someone to talk to whether they are a bystander in a cyber bullying situation, a victim, or the bully ready to change.”
As Caroline noted in her interview, she sent a letter to Florida Governor Rick Scott asking that he designate a week in Florida as Anti-Cyberbullying Awareness Week. The purpose of the week she is proposing is for schools to bring attention to the strengthening of an anti cyberbullying law that now allows schools to take action on cyberbulling that occurs outside of school hours.
Caroline has many other ideas she is working on for her platform this year and she looks forward to opportunities to help others and to spread the message that people need to think before they send!