Anti-bullying social media campaign honors friend who made a difference
When Angie Babcock looks through old yearbook photos, it’s not the well wishes she remembers.
“I was very rarely ever called my name. It was either Beavis or narc or some other ungodly name. It was horrible,” Babcock said.
Instead every page brings back memories of the years of being bullied during middle school and high school.
“It’s not something you forget, and then when you see something in the news where another kid has taken their life you think, ‘Oh I’ve been there,'” she said.
But she didn’t take her life. Instead, she credits one friend, Scott Rooney, who walked her to and from school almost every day during the times she was bullied the most, with saving her life.
“I thought of many different plans to just end it. But none of them I could carry through with because, well, I have one friend that cares so I must have someone that cares,” she said.
Rooney was a classmate of Babcock’s throughout middle school, but didn’t know the impact he had on her life until recently.
“You never know how much you negatively impact or positively impact someone’s life. I mean here it is 21 one years later and I just found out that I helped her out tremendously just from walking her home from school,” Rooney said.
Babcock said having Rooney walk her home was the one thing that made the difference on her outlook on life.
“He was really just that one friend that gave me just that little niche to hold onto,” she said.
Now Babcock hopes by sharing her story more people will “Be a Rooney.” She has created a social media anti-bully campaign in his honor to encourage other students who might be going through similar situations.
“I want them to know it only takes one person and you can save someone’s life from being that one person who goes against all the other people bullying,” she said.
Though Rooney said he is still shocked to know the impact he has had on Babcock’s life, he said he is honored and hopes that through her campaign both victims of bullying and bullies themselves will learn a valuable lesson.
“Hopefully it brings awareness to the bullies to that you might not think you’re not making a big deal and you’re having fun picking on a person, but those words do hurt,” Rooney said.
Babcock and Rooney hope their message that hope is possible beyond the pain will motivate others.
“There is life after being bullied. Don’t take it personal because things change when you get older. Life is worth living,” Babcock said.