Local teens start anti-bullying movement

Teens believe 3V Movement can help kids

SAN DIEGO - Three local teens have started a movement that they believe can help stop bullying.

Dimitar Gougov, a sophomore at Cathedral Catholic High School, wears his 3V Movement shirt proudly.

"We made a cool brand that people would want to wear," Gougov said.

Gougov and brothers Michael and Alex Bulkin believe the 3V brand can help change how kids deal with bullying.

"Rather than saying don't bully each other because we know it's going to happen anyway, we want to say bullying isn't cool and we want to make it socially unacceptable," said Gougov.

The three V's stand for vigilance (as in looking out for bullying), valor (as in standing up to bullying) and victory (as in ultimately, everybody wins).

"We thought that as kids if we made it cool to be the nice guy instead of cool to be the mean guy that kids would really embrace that message," said Michael Bulkin.

It's a message the trio take to schools. In fact, 15 area schools, including Del Norte High School and The Bishop's School, now have 3V clubs.

"When we go to assemblies, we kind of like to get the kids involved," said Michael Bulkin.

Students sign a 3V pledge, and the trio says their approach differs from most stop-bullying campaigns. They say students with bullying tendencies will want to be nice.

"Not even because they wanted to be a nice guy, but because it would make them cooler …," said Michael Bulkin.

The three boys recently spoke at a panel at the Museum of Man to spread their message. None of them has experienced bullying, but they say most students are bystanders and that's why they can make the difference.

"Simple gestures like, 'Hey, that wasn't cool what you did yesterday,'" said Michael Bulkin.

The boys say 100 percent of the profit from T-shirt sales, as well as any donations, go to tolerance and anti-bullying groups.

Find out more about the 3V Movement by visiting the3vmovement.com.

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