School Photographer Takes A Stand Against Cyberbullies

I found a great and inspirational story on Yahoo News this morning that I wanted to share here. A school photographer in Pennsylvania is receiving kudos for deciding not to take the school pictures of four girls who were the creators of a Facebook page devoted to cyberbullying.

The photographer, Jen McKendrick, cancelled their photo sessions and wrote an email to the girls and their parents explaining why she wasn’t taking their pictures. She then shared on her blog why she did it.

“If you are ugly on the inside, I’m sorry but I won’t take your photos to make you look pretty on the outside!”

She also shared in another blog post the following:

“I have received emails from those of you from all over the world (literally) who mentioned how you were in your adult years and that the bullying still effects you. I’ve received emails from current high school students thanking me and calling me a their “hero”. I honestly don’t know how to process it all. I mean have you SEEN how many comments there were? Yesterday it was a full time job keeping up with everything. Some of your stories about bullying were just heartbreaking.

I’m not claiming to be an expert in bullying and as a matter of fact when asked by the few people that called, NO, I don’t have a first hand experience with bullying. Of course during my middle school/awkward years I’m sure there were some name calling but it was never really that bad that I didn’t want to go to school. And certainly not as bad as some of the individuals that emailed in. So I can’t stand up here and say I had been bullied, because I wasn’t. I liked to think I was friends with everyone. BUT I don’t think one has to have gone thru being bullied to stand up to it. I would like to hope that all of us could speak up if we ourselves witnessed it happening with our own eyes.”

By taking a stand, Jen is helping all who have suffered and still suffer with the cruelty that is bullying. It is not about who was bullied, but that the community take a stand against it. Jen is one player in the community. What do you think? Did she do the right thing? You can probably guess my answer. And as Jen ended one of her blog posts, I too will say. . .mean is UGLY!

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About Alan Eisenberg

Alan Eisenberg is a Certified Life Coach, Bullying Recovery activist and author of "A Ladder In The Dark: My journey from bullying to self-acceptance" and "Crossing the Line". He has been writing and speaking to various audiences about the issue of C-PTSD and Bullying Recovery. Mr. Eisenberg has been featured on several print, radio shows and podcasts on this issue, including NPR and in the Boston Globe. He is currently working toward his Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling.
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