Meier brings awareness to issue

A little less than four years ago, a young 13 year old girl named Megan Meier took her own life due to cyberbullying. In Dec. 2007, Megan’s mom, Tina Meier, created the Megan Meier Foundation. This foundation’s sole purpose is to save teenager’s lives from cyberbullying. Meier travels across the country to speak with students and faculty about cyberbullying.

“Cyberbullying is the same old typical bullying, but it’s used through technology, and it’s usually intentional,” Meier said. “It’s used to harass somebody, to threaten somebody, so when somebody uses technology to do those things, it’s considered cyberbullying.”

On Thursday, Aug. 18, Meier came to spread awareness about the cyberbullying issue.

“[The reason I came] was to talk about the issues surrounding bullying and cyberbullying and to share ways that [teachers] can maybe help students and help the school,” Meier said.

Ever since her daughter took her own life over cyberbullying, Meier has been committed to spreading awareness about the problem and ways to help the students who are being bullied.

“A lot of schools are having a hard time dealing with how to address [cyberbullying],” Meier said. “Hopefully, giving them more information will help not only them to teach, but also help the students with the frustrations that they go through everyday.”

According to Meier, the Megan Meier Foundation is to spread awareness about cyberbullying and give advice to those being bullied or those who see others get bullied.

“We try to get you to understand to stand up for people because one day in your life you will need somebody to stand up for you, and most of the time it is a complete stranger,” Meier said.

When Meier came to Francis Howell Central, she noticed that the Francis Howell School District is doing a lot of things to make its schools better places. It is implementing new policies and enforcing character education.

“I met the superintendent and the assistant principal; they are doing a lot of things,” Meier said. “With bringing me in today, they’re trying to implement new policies; they’re trying to implement new things for teachers to do in homerooms; they’re trying to get a lot of character education in here.”

After Meier came to talk with the faculty and students, Principal Sonny Arnel shared his opinion on the issue and what the school is doing to better the student environment.

“The last few years, we have been trying to focus more on the student as a whole,” Dr. Arnel said. “We seem to focus more on the test scores, and this year, we made it our mission to focus on the student’s experience at Francis Howell Central.”

Not only did Dr. Arnel see the practical element in Meier’s story, but he connected the emotional element with the facts Meier shared.

“Her story is so heartfelt and real that it demands your attention,” Dr. Arnel said. “I don’t want anyone feeling like they can’t live. I want everyone to love the four years they spend here.”

Meier only hopes that Megan’s story impacts someone so they think before they cyberbully, even if that person does not think that what they are posting is bullying.

“I hope that they [see] this story and realize that we don’t want any more loss,” Meier said. “I hope they’ll think before they speak, think before they click, and be that better person.”