DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — Student-led anti-bullying organization Be Strong has formed a strategic partnership with safety solutions supplier Safe Fleet.

According to the two organizations, the partnership’s purpose is to work together to create and promote communities of strength, hope, and resilience.

“We are dedicated to changing and saving lives with the most authentic partners who have passion and expertise for sustainable change,” said Ashleigh Cromer, executive director of Be Strong. “We believe we’ve found that with Safe Fleet, a leader in safety solutions.”

“Keeping children and adults safe is in the forefront of everything we do,” said John Knox, president and CEO of Safe Fleet. “We have entered this partnership with Be Strong to reach more students and begin to reverse the disturbing statistics of how many youth are affected by bullying today.”

Safe Fleet’s United Against Bullying (UAB) program was established in 2012 by Seon, a Safe Fleet brand, in response to a local cyber-bullying tragedy. The program was expanded in 2015.

As part of Be Strong’s efforts to end bullying, the team created and maintains the Be Strong app, which is available for free on iOS or Android and provides support for students and families. The app offers digital tools to connect people of all ages to one-touch resources, such as a suicide lifeline, a crisis text line, and trusted friends alerts.

According to the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 20.2% of grade 9-12 students in the U.S. were bullied on school property, and 8.6% had attempted suicide one or more times in the past 12 months. Those negatively impacted by bullying are two to nine times more likely to consider suicide than those who are not, according to studies by Yale University.

"Bullying thrives when people don't take action to address this serious social issue," Cromer said. “We can no longer have segmented discussions on this. Rather we must heighten the visibility and impact to ensure that children, parents, grandparents, caregivers, guardians, governments, corporations, and nonprofits are all participating in the discussion on this crucial safety, health, and social issue.”

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