The Dream Queen Foundation’s signature teen girl program Gals Lead is helping Southern Maryland combat bullying by providing female (she/her they/them) middle and high school students a safe place to share, get to know themselves, celebrate successes, overcome obstacles, learn from role models, pursue their dreams and ultimately, embrace their value and worth.

The St. Mary’s Health Department has adopted the curriculum and is sponsoring an after-school club Thursday evenings starting March 31, 2022

Bullying is an age-old problem. Defined by stoDbullving.gov as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real, or perceived power imbalance, bullying includes three types of abuse: emotional, verbal, and physical. It is typically repeated over time and research indicates bullying can lower childrens’ self-confidence, influence grades, affect mental and physical health, and at its worst, lead to suicide, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bullying is more prevalent in middle and secondary schools because of access and availability to the Internet, online chat rooms, social media, and cell phones.

Arguably, bullying has become a national epidemic. In Maryland alone, 54,823 high schoolers (13.8 percent) were electronically bullied, while 54,219 (17.7 percent) were bullied on school property over a period of 12 months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Maryland High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey. 

Of those, the majority 27,804 (17.2 percent) and 27,551 (19.8 percent) were females. Middle school is worse. The Maryland Middle School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, reports 26,875 (19.7 percent) of students were electronically bullied and 26,526 (40.9% percent) were bullied on school property. Over 13,000 (26.3 and 46.3 percent) respectively were females.

The last survey on the site is from 2019 and due to the pandemic our society has changed and we know it has affected these numbers drastically.

The Dream Queen Foundation is working hard to expand the club program throughout the state of Maryland and they need your help. They are looking for more volunteers, mentors, sponsors, and donors.

To join the movement go to www.dreamaueenfoundation.org

Where:

  • Lexington Park Library
  • 21677 FDR Blvd Lexington Park, MD 20653

When:

  • 4:30pm to 5:30pm

Program Length:

  • weekly meetings for 10 months

Who:

  • Teen Girls (she/her they/them)
  • Join NOW
  • Cost: Free

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...

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