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Renowned Author and Bullying Survivor, Jodee Blanco, Inspires Marian High School with Anti-Bullying Seminar

Marian had the honor of hosting a special guest speaking to students, educators, and parents September 6. New York Times bestselling author and remarkable bullying survivor turned activist, Jodee Blanco, graced our campus with a three-part bullying prevention seminar that drew inspiration from core Catholic values of tolerance, compassion, and forgiveness. The seminar, part of Blanco's INJJA™ (It's NOT Just Joking Around!™) program, emphasized the importance of combating bullying and fostering a culture of kindness within our school community.

The INJJA™ program, which Blanco has taken to numerous Catholic schools across the nation, integrates live presentations, Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) follow-up programming, and professional development. By addressing bullying head-on and providing tools for prevention, it empowers schools and communities to create safer and more inclusive environments.

"My piece of advice is this: tattling hurts, and telling helps. Tell if someone is being mean so they get the help and support they need," Blanco told students. "It's about helping them, not revenge."

Blanco's methodologies are deeply rooted in core Catholic values, reinforcing the principles of tolerance, compassion, and forgiveness. Her approach not only addresses the symptoms of bullying but also encourages personal growth and moral development in all who engage with her program.

Blanco left students with an assignment--to think of a fellow student they may have been unintentionally unkind to or preemptively judged, and to extend an invitation to do something social together. "You're going to find out that those you judged are way cooler than you thought. And those of you who thought someone was being mean, you may find out they are kinder than you imagined," she told students.

Blanco applauded Marian for the newly implemented Marian Pledge, a student-led initiative to promote Marian values in the school community. The pledge lays out six core means (Model of Jesus, Acceptance, Relationships, Integrity, Accountability, and Nurturing environment) by which the Marian community pledges to represent Marian and the IHM sisters by "upholding a deep respect and love for ourselves and all persons, serving others in the name of Jesus, and uplifting the Marian community by striving for justice, belonging, and equity".

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