Senior Steven Browning speaks at a MYLC meeting

Rebecca Rakowitz

Senior Steven Browning speaks at a MYLC meeting

Rebecca Rakowitz, Staff Writer

With more people than chairs, yet enough Pop’ems to go around, the multi-purpose room was abuzz Monday morning as the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council held their annual press conference. Active member Steven Browning (senior) took the podium and immediately and called for a moment of silence in memory of Asia Dunmore, the Westhill student who recently took her own life. Starting with the mention of such a tragedy made this press conference all the more powerful.

The goal of MYLC, one of Connecticut’s largest youth activist groups (130 members), is to end bullying and teen dating violence. If you are unfamiliar with what MYLC is, you are probably familiar with their many demonstrations. Whether it be wearing t-shirts with personal insecurities on them, hanging up meaningful and inspirational posters throughout the school, or having events like Drop Dead Day, MYLC shows how real and serious of a problem bullying is.  Since October is National Bullying Awareness Month, this press conference was aptly timed. Browning spoke of how bullying is not just a crime performed by kids, but also adults.  Most everyone is guilty of going throughout the day, bullying someone (probably without even being aware of it), and then “starting again the next day.” By failing to stop false rumors or by being an idle bystander, these people are being just as bad as the bully themself.

A common theme of Browning’s was that bullies often walk away with nothing more than a “slap on the wrist” and then continue with their old habits. In order to prevent this from happening anymore, Stamford is creating a new bullying policy – hopefully one that will be a model for all other school districts. Until that policy is in place, MYLC is working hard to get people to change their thinking and increase awareness about bullying/teen dating violence. As Browning said, “Pity sees suffering and wants to ease the pain; passion sees injustice and wants to settle the score.”