ARLINGTON, Wash. -- An Arlington pizza restaurant aims to increase anti-bullying efforts in the community with a special marketing campaign.
“Society needs to stop and say we are responsible for this. This is happening in schools, in homes, in the workplace and it just has to stop,” said Jeanette Dushkin, owner of the Arlington Pizza Factory.
During October’s National Bullying Prevention Month, Dushkin and her employees are wearing special T-shirts that say “Don’t be a Bully.”
Signs are also posted in the restaurant, encouraging customers to pressure local schools to increase anti-bullying efforts in schools.
“If we get to the root of what makes a bully, you can stop it,” said Dushkin.
While Dushkin was teased growing up, experiences of family members inspired the campaign. During her childhood, Dushkin often defended her sister with disabilities from bullies.
“She’s like you always stood up for me, stand up for somebody else now,” said Dushkin.
Her grandson Mani was also victimized.
“The older kids would push me around, call me names,” said Mani Arizmendi, her grandson.
The abuse was so bad; Dushkin claims he finally switched middle schools.
“He was locked in the bathroom not coming out because he’s got kids ready to beat the crap out of him,” she said.
According to Dushkin, school officials have taken notice of her efforts and plan to collaborate with her on improving awareness of the issue in area classrooms.