Raini Rodriguez wants to show teens how to take a stand against bullying.
The Mexican-American actress will take viewers into workshops focused on highlighting leadership skills that can help teens prevent bullying as part of Disney Channel’s newest interstitial program set to air Nov. 8, according to an exclusive press release and video sent to The Huffington Post.
Rodriguez (“Austin and Ally,” “Paul Blart: Mall Cop”) participated in a series of workshops held by Los Angeles’ Free the Children Leadership Academy where kids learn how to recognize bullying and take positive action to prevent it.
The 20-year-old actress was accompanied by dozens of kids and narrates her experience to the audience in the 2-minute production filmed as part of the “Disney Friends for Change” global initiative.
(Check Out The Video Above)
The Associated Press reports that 29 percent of students ages 12 to 18 reported being bullied at school or online, according to the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics. The sometimes tragic consequences of bullying have prompted companies to develop tools like Blackboard’s TipTxt to give students a safe way to inform school officials of harassment.
"While most adults possess the emotional maturity to ignore bullies and recognize that what those dopes think isn't important, that is nearly impossible for the average adolescent," Amy Hammond, assistant professor of psychology at Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport, told USA Today. "Identity — which is really just beginning to take off in early adolescence — is very tied up in peer culture and in fitting in.”
Disney Channel will broadcast the interstitial program on Friday, Nov. 8 and air it in rotation after the premiere. Kids and families can also download bullying prevention information and tips on the Disney website.