In a campaign launching Thursday on Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney.com, several Disney Channel actors (including Bella Thorne, Bridgit Mendler, China Anne McClain, Zendaya, Debby Ryan and Billy Unger) will be speaking about cyberbullying and urging young children between the ages of 6 and 14 to not only treat each other well, but to speak up about bullying.
Additionally, the campaign will encourage parents to teach their children responsible ways to use cell phones, social networks and online gaming sites as well as give advice about what to do when cyberbullying does happen.
Even the Disney Channel stars participating in this campaign say they were bullied. Billy Unger, the star of Disney XD’s series Lab Rats, says in elementary school he was always taunted with cruel insults like “shortie” and “small fry,” but learned to be proud of his height when a casting director told him being short was actually a good thing in the entertainment industry.
The campaign, which is expected to run for several months, is a joint effort on the parts of Disney and the non-profit group Common Sense Media. Caroline Knorr, parenting editor of Common Sense Media, says:
When kids see other kids who have had experiences they can relate to, that is so much more profound and inspiring than hearing from an adult. These Disney Channel characters are real people, and kids really look up to them … So for them to come out and say ‘this happened to me’ or to advocate for good digital citizenship, it will make a huge impact.
For more information, please visit Disney.com/commonsense.