Burke Centre Library Teen Advisory Board and FBLA Anti-Bullying Fair

Amelia Gulding, Editor in Chief

In September of 2014, students at Robinson attended a mandatory depression screening as a result of Fairfax County’s surprisingly high suicide rate. In accompaniment with the screenings, Robinson as well as several elementary schools that feed into Robinson launched the ‘Be Aware, Be Kind, Be You’ initiative to help combat bullying. During the first week of the 2015 school year, Robinson held a ‘Renaissance Rally’ where some students as well as many faculty members sported ‘Dude, Be Nice’ t shirts.

Bullying has always happened in schools, but over the past year it has been taken more seriously than before. All of these anti-bullying programs have been started for a reason, to inspire students to take a stand to bullying and to take the issue more seriously.

That’s where the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) comes in. The TAB has partnered with FBLA to host an anti-bullying fair at Robinson. With their mission statement ‘teens helping teens’ the board was originally created to help the community, but this is their first event tackling a large issue.

“A recent report came out of the county that showed abnormal rates of students who were under stress, going through a rough time, and in worse case scenarios even considered suicide. These were crazy numbers that should never be brought up in a school let alone anywhere else. This fair is an effort to mitigate bullying to reduce those statistics,” said president of the Teen Advisory Board and member of FBLA, Nate Pillihi. “We have done essay competitions, video workshops, literature workshops, tutoring help, and much more. But this anti-bullying fair is going to be an event on a much larger scale than past events.”

The fair will consist booths for many nation-wide anti-bullying organizations such as Big Brother Big Sister, Stand for the Silent, Champions of Bullying and guest speaker Alan Eisenberg, author of A Ladder In The Dark: My Journey from Bullying to Self-Acceptance and managing director of Bullying Recovery, LLC.


The TAB also attached a poetry contest to the event to help teens share their bullying stories. Contestants used the median of creative writing to help express their experiences in a way they feel passionate. The TAb also set up ‘Share Your Story’ booths at the Burke Centre Library as another way for teens to do exactly that, share their story.  


The poetry contest is a part of this fair because of one simple reason: words are powerful. I truly believe that the pen is mightier than the sword and the thinking behind this contest is to give that pen to teens and encourage them to use it. It’s a way to let teens voice their opinion about an issue that affects them and allow them to be the change themselves.” said Vice President of the TAB and founder of the creative writing group at the Burke Centre Library, Amna Tahir.