Parker Students Fight Cyberbullying

Students Attend Buckets Over Bullying Rally


Photo credit: Buckets Over Bullying

Students attentively listen during the Buckets over Bullying Rally at the Jesse White Community Center.

On a brisk Saturday morning, hundreds of students and parents across Chicago attended the first Buckets Over Bullying rally on November 5, 2022, decrying cyberbullying across the country. Buckets Over Bullying is a non-profit founded by Rose and Rob Bronstein to end online bullying through education, lawmaking, and legal drive. 

Amassing in the Jesse White Community Center, a roster of speakers from More than Likes, a student-led organization, and the Secretary of State implored the attendees to take the pledge, an online promise to “never use my device as a weapon.” 

By 10:45 a.m., the parent learning session began, and the Buckets Over Bullying volunteers helped divide children into groups based on age. Members of the Organization for Social Media Safety educated middle school students on navigating social media-related dangers. In the session, middle school students were led through the proper ways to address cyberbullying and appropriate forms of social media. 

“The first step is expert-led education driven by data. That data can be then applied to reduce acts of all social media-related cyberbullying and violence significantly,” Bronstein said. “The Organization for Social Media Safety gave presentations to both students and parents at the rally and collected data from students on their current experiences with social media.”

At the rally, 43% of students reported they had been cyberbullied, and 91% reported having seen hate speech online. “These numbers are astonishing and so disturbing,” said Bronstein. “They indicate that cyberbullying is an urgent crisis that is a threat and danger to our Chicago students.”

Simultaneously, the high school students began in the gym, participating in various basketball drills. The two student groups switched activities after an hour. “The rally was definitely a success,” said Parker volunteer Alesandra Ozbek. “This is just the beginning of the impact Buckets Over Bullying will have on our community.” 

Before the event, Parker students promoted the rally at school by handing out t-shirts and fliers to the Parker community and promoting the event through social media. Before the rally, Parker students arrived at 8:30 a.m. to assist in setting up and speaking in front of the crowd. 

“Handing out Buckets Over Bullying shirts was a successful attempt at bringing a broader awareness to Buckets Over Bullying and mental health at Parker,” Buckets Over Bullying volunteer Oliver Cahnman said. “Every day, I see students wearing the t-shirts and believe we began to build a community within Parker supporting mental health and anti-bullying.”

Parker students collaborated with More Than Likes, a non-profit organization started by high school students in New Haven, Connecticut. The student task force became the main communication between the attendees, Buckets Over Bullying staff, and event speakers. “It was so refreshing to see how many teenagers are in this fight with us,” Ozbek said. 

Attendance at the afternoon session increased drastically, and the Bronsteins will continue to energize their movement with a promotional event at UIC Pavilion on December 3, 2022. “Our first rally was just the start of what Buckets Over Bullying will accomplish. We are dedicated to spreading our message across the City,” said Bronstein.