- Last Updated on 02 August 2012
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When people think about Miss Teen USA, images of glitz and glam come to mind. Logan West, Miss Teen USA 2012, sat down with Gretchen Carlson today from Fox News to discuss the tormented road she traveled to capturing the crowning. "I was bullied in seventh grade by a classmate who told me I did not act my skin color," West said. "So for six months I was tortured, humiliated, and ultimately lost who I was."
West spoke of her mother's attempt to work through the school system to combat the issue of bullying. "In the beginning they just said, 'don't worry about it, we'll take of it,' and they sat my bully and I in the Guidance counselor's office together for twenty minutes by ourselves."
West offered an important piece of advice for parents to follow when working with the school system, "As a parent you have to be relentless, you can't just put it in the school's hands and allow them to just do whatever. You have to constantly be on them to say how is my child doing?"
After retaliating against her bully, West received equal consequences, "She threw food on me, I threw it back, and she hit me in my face, but I received two days suspension," West explained. "It was during those two days I realized that I was the victim and had not done anything wrong and how as it that I was getting the equal consequence?"
West decided to turn the situation around and created a program to educate other students, "It was during those two days that I developed Bully Proof and decided there has to be a way to teach other students what they need to do in order to not be in the same situation."
Bully Proof is now being implemented in all of schools in the state of Connecticut and offers teaches five tips for stomping out bullying: Let the bully know they are hurting you, tell the bully to "stop," walk away from the situation, approach the bully with a group of friends, and tell a teacher or adult you trust.
West said that while this was a horrific experience, it empowered her as a person. "I turned this negative experience into something positive, that was my whole goal in this program, As a way of finding Logan again I found a whole new piece of me."
West was crowned Miss Teen USA 2012 on July 28, 2012. She will spend her year as Miss Teen USA speaking on bully prevention as well as building relationships with organizations devoted to education and action, such as Best Buddies, D.A.R.E., Girl Talk, Sparrow Club and Project Sunshine. For more information about Miss Teen USA log onto: www.missteenusa.com
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