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Kids Doing Good: Margaret Turner

Thirteen-year-old Margaret Turner wants to spread a message to her peers –one of acceptance, of valuing each person and of stopping bullying in schools.

Margaret works closely with B.R.A.V.E., Building Respect and Values for Everyone, an organization that she was first introduced to by the Miss High School America program. She travels to classrooms across the Upstate sharing her anti-bullying message and even has students sign a pledge that is displayed on the classroom wall to remind them not to allow bullying to happen.

“One in four students say they have been bullied at school, and most bullying happens in middle school,” Margaret said. “I believe the more we talk about bullying and raise awareness, the more likely students are to recognize, prevent and intervene when it occurs.” 

In addition to her work with middle school students, Margaret has started visiting elementary classrooms with the message of “buddies, not bullies.” This easy to remember phrase reminds younger children to speak up when they see bullying happening and hopefully reduce the amount of bullying happening in schools.

According to Margaret, who is in eighth grade at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Greenville, when students hear an anti-bullying message from a peer, it can have a greater impact than when it comes from a parent or teacher. She said she makes a point to share her own struggles with bullying so kids know they are not alone. 

“Hopefully through spreading awareness, students will decide to be a stand-byer, not a bystander when bullying is happening,” she said. 

Margaret’s mother, Jennifer, is very proud of her daughter. She knows that in middle school, it can be difficult to share about one’s own experiences and she is thankful her daughter has taken on this leadership role.

This month, Margaret will be competing in the Miss Junior High School pageant in Arkansas. She hopes to continue to spread her anti-bullying message in the years to come.