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Alumna fights bullying on social media with #ICANHELP

“After seeing what one school in one small town in Northern California did to combat negativity online, people all over the country became inspired to make a change.”

Kim Karr ’04 is taking a bold stance against negativity and bullying on social media. Karr, a physical education and leadership teacher at Excelsior Middle School in Byron, Calif., is co-founder of #ICANHELP, an organization dedicated to empowering students to stand up to negative posts on all forms of social media.

Karr has traveled to more than 150 schools throughout California sharing her message to students. On June 17 she made a special visit to her hometown of Decorah, Iowa, and gave a high-energy presentation to roughly 30 students, parents and school faculty at Carrie Lee Elementary School.

Karr’s message was assisted by student helpers who read aloud real-life stories of kids who have been directly affected by negativity on social media. Throughout her 90-minute presentation, Karr shared #ICANHELP’s five simple steps to battle negativity on social media:

  1. Post only positive messages.
  2. Report inappropriate posts.
  3. Block inappropriate people.
  4. Stop negative talk with positivity.
  5. Follow and support #ICANHELP.

Students who have participated in #ICANHELP training are referred to as “positive warriors.” Karr says everybody has the ability to stand up to negativity.

“People don’t vent to other people anymore; they vent to social media,” Said Karr. “The power of just one person standing up to negativity is incredible.”

Inspired by an incident at her school, Karr said she helped start this organization after a fake and damaging Facebook page was created for a local teacher, without her knowledge. Karr quickly developed the tools to help educate others how this negative behavior can affect people and leave a very hurtful lasting impression.

Overwhelmed by the support of her students, Karr realized “positive warriors” were all around her would help fight this unfortunate social media craze. These students have aided in spreading the word to other students all across the country.

For more information about #ICANHELP, visit www.icanhelpdeletenegativity.org.

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