By Mohan Karulkar Yesterday, Michigan became the 48th state to sign anti-bullying legislation onto its books.  Like all laws, it’s a compromise that doesn’t fully satisfy either side of the table.  But for better or worse, Michigan has joined the majority of states that have taken tangible steps to combat bullying.

Over the last few years, it seems like there has been a constant stream of high-profile tragedies linked to bullying, and a growing public consensus that more must be done.  Legislation and education have been the most obvious strategies, but the truth is, they won’t solve the problem.  Not by themselves, anyway.

Nothing can prevent bullying and childhood scarring unless we first take on the labels that inspire and embody bullying.

You know the ones:

Retard. Fag. Loser. Wimp. Nerd. Slut. Snitch.

You named them, after all.  You endured them.  We endured them.

And now it’s time to reject them.  It takes a personal commitment to leave behind the labels that enable bullying.  It transcends faith and politics, age and gender, race and culture.  Don’t accept them; don’t use them.

Some people have the courage to reject their own labels, like Jonah:

But many have neither the strength nor voice to reject the labels themselves.  They are outnumbered and out-shouted.  They are tired, resigned, and ignorant of a life free from labels.

And so it must start with us.  The strength to reject the labels of bullying must start with us. Don’t accept them; don’t use them.

Will you stand with us?

Learn how to get involved here.