Daniel Mendez.

A kind brother, a loving son, an athlete, an avid football fan, an honor roll student, a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a boy scout, guitar and trumpet player and above all, a peace activist.  The world at his feet.

We gotta make change. It’s time for us as a people to start makin’ some changes. Let’s change the way we live, let’s change the way we eat, and let’s change the way we treat each other. You see, the old way wasn’t working, so it’s on us to do what we gotta do to survive.
— Tupac Shakur (a quote Daniel kept on his wall)

Daniel Mendez ends his life on May 1st, 2009 as a result of bullying. He was 16 years old.

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Some classmates tattoo Daniel's name to never forget what happened to their friend. The school and Daniel's family grieve his death.


Grassroots Peace Activism Spurred by Daniel's Death

Daniel's classmates start Cool 2 Be Kind, a club promoting peace and combating bullying on campus.

The club holds dances in Daniel's honor. After years of work, C2BK is awarded the Ambassadors of Peace Award from the Orange County Anti-Violence Coalition, in addition to receiving Commendation from the Mayor of San Clemente.

Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Victoria Mendez, Daniel's sister, joins the high school and makes an effort in C2BK. The group becomes even more influential through parades in high schools, public speaking events, and changes in anti-bullying legislation.

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The Cool 2 Be Kind movement has expanded well past one school. There are currently over twenty Cool 2 Be Kind chapters across the nation. Learn how to start your own Cool 2 Be Kind chapter!
Additionally, if you want to know more about C2BK, please visit their website.

Anna Mendez, a mom driven by the passing of her son, starts an organization called NAPAB to advocate for bullied victims. She knows from personal experience that bullying is preventable, and can lead to children committing suicide. After Daniel’s death, the lack of awareness among educators and doctors about the gravity of bullying becomes particularly disturbing.

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We learn from Daniel's story that bullying can be stopped.
Thousands of children suffer, even die, from a preventable cause.

May Daniel's death not be in vain.
It's time to rise up together to stop bullying.
It's time to educate the people around us, so that we can save the hundreds of thousands of children out there just like Daniel.

 

The hallway where Daniel was bullied, two years after his death. Students are now combatting bullying with kindness.

The hallway where Daniel was bullied, two years after his death. Students are now combatting bullying with kindness.