“From Bully to Bestie” was written in an effort to open discussion for parents, teachers, and counselors to discuss the difficult topic of bullying.

It is meant to shed light on the fact that according to a new U.S. News & World Report suicide rates among teens and young adults have reached their highest point in nearly two decades.


Suicides among teens have especially spiked with an annual increase of 10% to 15% between 2014 and 2017 for 15 to 19-year-olds. The surge is particularly strong amongst teenage boys up 14% in the year between 2015 and 2017 while suicide rates for teenage girls rose 8% annually between 2000 and 2017 (U.S. Youth Suicide Rate Reaches 20-Year High, 2018).


From a teacher’s perspective, it is Jacqelle’s belief, that teachers, parents, stakeholders, and community members need to be aware that bullying is much more prevalent than ever. It’s much easier to bully and kids are more intelligent about technology than ever before. They can gain anonymity from these social media sites and hide their activity from grown-ups.

Unfortunately, we can not protect our children from everything, but we can teach them the coping skills to deal with bullying and we can encourage kindness and ask that if a child does see the bullying occur that they take a stand because there are grave consequences for their actions if they don’t stand up.

Spreading awareness on the importance of being kind and teaching students how to be kind to one another is essential. There is enough darkness that we all have to deal with; Jacqelle hopes that the next generation is the light.

Jacqelle is involved with many non-profit organizations working to help at-risk youth who are more prone to be ostracized and alienated in their schools and communities. She also makes a strong impact in the educational world and is an advocate for teachers working to publicly shed light on ways to make classrooms, schools and communities better and safer for students to thrive.