National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month
Posted on 10/01/2017
This is the image for the news article titled National Bullying Prevention Awareness MonthOctober is here, the time for harvest colors and candy corn, and a reminder to address bullying with National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. Bullying affects approximately 20% of high school students, according to a 2015 study by the CDC. To campaign against this, October became Bullying Prevention Awareness Month in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, raising awareness and providing a month-long opportunity to discuss, address and prevent bullying in our schools. 

Bullying, defined as aggressive behavior among school aged children which is marked by an imbalance of power and repetition, can take on a range of forms from spreading malicious rumors to physical acts of aggression to, with increased use of cell phones and social media, cyberbullying. Children who experience bullying may come home with unexplained injuries, have frequent illnesses or fake illness to get out of school, have a decline in grades and GPA, among other effects.

Other children involved in bullying can also be affected, including bystanders. Students who bully others are more likely engage in other violent and risky behaviors as they get older. They are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, drop out of school, and have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults. Even students who witness bullying are more likely to have increased use of alcohol and other drugs, develop mental health problems, and miss or skip school. 

If you fear a child is involved in bullying, talk to them and give them the support and guidance they need. In addition, if you see bullying behavior respond immediately and consistently, find out what happened, and support the children involved. Teaching children how to respond to bullying whether they are receiving it or witnessing it, can help minimize damage and prevent future bullying. Open communication, avoiding the labels “bully” and “victim,” can help kids recognize that behavior can change and the bullying can be prevented, even when they may feel helpless.

For more information, as well as resources for families, schools and communities visit www.stopbullying.gov, run by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. For further resources for parents, kids and teens, visit the National Bullying Prevention Center’s website, www.pacer.org/bullying.


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