Miss North Dakota speaks out about getting anti-bullying campaign into more schools
Miss North Dakota is speaking out, and it's all around a topic that's very near to her heart, bullying. She tells us, she’s already spoke with thousands of students across the state about her anti-bullying campaign. But she says, there are some schools that don't want her there.
A controversy or at the very least, a disagreement is brewing between Miss North Dakota and some of the biggest school districts in the state. Lizzie Jensen wants to bring her message to schools across North Dakota. She says, it's important to get into schools like Grand Forks, West Fargo, and Fargo. But she tells us, they won't let her in.
"There's a handful of schools, especially in the Fargo area, I mean I live in Fargo and I want to help support my community as much as I can, but they just don't want me. That's fine but it's truly the kid's loss," says Miss North Dakota, Lizzie Jensen.
We reached out to these schools' spokespersons and they had some questions too. The Fargo Public Schools spokeswoman tells us, a principal was contacted by Lizzie’s booking agent but never got back with him. She tells us, this could have been for a number of reasons including, the school already having a number of anti-bullying related demonstrations.
Lizzie's booking agent says, they keep records of who they reach out to, and is baffled why these schools haven't had her come speak to the students. As you can imagine, bullying is very important to Lizzie. She’s experienced it firsthand.
"I was bullied for over 10 years. It started out in second grade, I was the new kid in school and shortly after I moved, my parents got a divorce. Most of my bullying was surrounded by the series of unfortunate but fortunate events that have gone on through my life," says Jensen.
That's why she wants to help students who are going through the same thing. She tells us, bullying is a nationwide epidemic, and she wants to spread her message so she can be an ally for students, parents, and teachers.
"I think it's really important for these students to know that, you're not alone in this struggle. There are hundreds and close to thousands of students that are struggling that have opened up to me, that are very similar to yourself," says Jensen.
Lizzie Jensen says, North Dakota is just one of five states that don't have a statewide law when it comes to bullying. But she wants to change that.
We also heard back from West Fargo Public Schools. West Fargo says, principals were told about the idea of Lizzie coming to the school to talk, but getting a speaker in a big school like West Fargo is difficult. They say, the students already get an over saturation of anti-bullying related discussions.