Bullied Teen Develops App To Help Kids Face the Lunchroom

posted: 09/23/16
by: Blythe Copeland
Bullied Teen App

One of the hardest part of the first few weeks of school can be navigating the lunchroom seating options -- especially for new kids. Natalie Hampton, a 16-year-old from Sherman Oaks, Ca., just made it a little easier with her new app, Sit With Us. Described as "a social networking app designed to promote kindness and inclusion in schools," Sit With Us lets students post open seats at their table -- or find a free spot and a friendly face without fearing an awkward, in-person rejection.

Hampton told NPR that she was inspired to create the app after a bout of bullying at her old school left her "completely ostracized" and alone at lunch daily. Though now she's in a new school -- where her classmates are already using Sit With Us -- she didn't forget the feeling. "When you walk into the lunchroom and you see all the tables of everyone sitting there and you know that going up to them would only end in rejection, you feel extremely alone and extremely isolated, and your stomach drops," she says. "I felt that if I was thriving in a new school but didn't do anything about the people who feel like this every single day, then I'm just as bad as the people who watched me eat alone."