Danielle Borgerson-Nesvold speaks to volunteers about CNN media releases during the Community Against Bullying meeting Thursday night at Neveln Elementary School.

Archived Story

CNN in town to follow group

Published 11:14am Friday, September 23, 2011

The Community Against Bullying group is picking up more steam this week.

A CNN news crew is following CAB members and reporting on their outreach efforts during Homecoming week and representatives from The Scary Guy, an anti-bullying advocate who is known for the tattoos that cover his body, are working out Scary’s schedule with CAB organizers.

CAB members discussed the recent backlash concerning The Scary Guy at a meeting Thursday night, offering plans and suggestions on how to get the tough-talking but friendly motivational speaker into the community on the right foot. Organizers said they’ve been approached by people asking who Scary is and what he’ll do for the community.

“This isn’t some guy coming to scare the bejesus out of kids,” head CAB organizer Danielle Borgerson-Nesvold said. “He’s trying to eliminate prejudice.”

Some CAB members said they weren’t surprised by the backlash over Scary’s appearance or the fact that CAB organizers will pay Scary $20,000 over the coming months for his 12-day tour of Austin, from Oct. 31 through Nov. 11.

Borgerson-Nesvold said the cost of sending students out of a district is just as much, if not higher, as schools have to pay for a student’s education in another district should the student decide to open enroll.

“That $20,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to what one bully can do,” Borgerson-Nesvold said. “This is a huge investment to save us a lot of money and a lot of lives.”

CAB members also unveiled their new web site, www.communityagainstbullying.com, and discussed new ways to report bullying through the TIPS hotline. In addition, CAB members are strategizing over volunteer efforts at their next couple of events, which include a teen dance on Oct. 28 at the Holiday Inn.

Gymocha will host a CAB donation day next Tuesday, Sept. 27, where 10 percent of all sales will go towards CAB efforts as well.


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  • zfadness

    The fact that this group feels they need to pay $20,000 to stop bullying is ridiculous. The school system isn’t that flawed; bullying isn’t a very big issue in Austin Public Schools. That money could be put to much better use helping out the school district financially instead of trying to be proactive on non-issue.

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  • Lebowski

    I agree and have been saying so for quite some time. This is a massive waste of community resources. The $20,000 could do a lot of good in our schools in other areas. Instead, it will leave the community when the $cary Guy hops on his plane to go scam another community. Hold on to your wallets and purses Austin the $cary Guy is coming to town.

    Looking at the picture for this article it doesn’t appear that CNN will have to follow a very big group around when they arrive.

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  • leftthehatebehind

    Are either one of you in high school and KNOW first hand bullying is not a problem in Austin? I am not saying it was a good idea to spend the money for that guy to come, but it is pretty presumptuous to say it is a non-issue.

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  • cramik

    I find it very disturbing that people are condemning this groups efforts when it is attempting to do good for the people of this community.

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  • mykids2

    If you think bulling is not a problem in Austin then your are wrong, I hate to be the one to tell you, but maybe you should visit the middle school in this town, and spend the day with my niece who has been bullied so bad she wants to leave school, and move out of state it is so bad. So it is not ridiculous to spend the money to stop it, but bulling is ridiculous and should be stopped.

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    • Lebowski

      Bullying has been a problem throughout human history. Kids have done it, adults have done it, governments have done it, and the list goes on. That leads me to believe that we aren’t going to solve or eliminate this problem ever. On the other hand, I think we can do several proactive things to help address this issue in the lives of our children. Spending $20,000 on the $cary Guy is not one of them.

      Spending that kind of money on the “emperor’s new clothes” will not fix this problem. Student focus groups could give you good information about where and when bullying is most frequently taking place. I believe it to be on playgrounds, in locker rooms, in hallways, and increasingly online on social media sites and texting. The money spent on the $cary Guy could have helped to address harassment and bullying in those areas in more reasonable and effective ways. Better supervision and training for supervisors of trouble areas, improved reporting mechanisms for reporting bullying that shield the victim, and stronger consequences for those found to be harassing kids.

      I applaud Banfield and the other elementary schools for addressing this problem with organized activities and increased adult supervision. That is time and money well spent. The CAB group should be following their lead.

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