October is National Bullying Prevention Month. How are you working to stop bullying?
By Guest Blogger on October 4th, 2011
We loved Alex Wladich’s first OOM post so much, we had to ask her back for more. Below, she tells us about an issue near and dear to her heart: bullying. Thanks, Alex!
When I was in high school, a new website launched that became the talk of the school. After just a few weeks, though, it was shut down by school officials once they discovered it was an outlet for bullying, where people posted mean stories bashing other students That was almost 10 years ago, and I’m sad to see the trend of bullying has not yet faded.
Whether it’s online or face-to-face, bullying happens every day throughout schools and communities. According to the National Education Association, it is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day because they are afraid of being bullied. That’s a lot of school absences that can be prevented…and a lot of missed learning experiences.
In efforts to stop bullying and harassment, October is the being recognized as National Bullying Prevention Month. We’ve talked about bullying before here on OOM, so check out this post for resources on bullying – from signs to recognize it and books to help kids deal with it. But meanwhile, read on for more information.
Throughout October, organizations such as PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center are campaigning and hosting events to raise awareness about bullying and cyber bullying to the community. It’s become such a hot topic that even celebrities such as Lady Gaga have become involved; she, for instance, is trying to make bullying illegal in response to the recent death of a teenager who took his own life after years of being harassed.
While online tools have, in many cases, made bullying easier, they’ve also become anti-bullying destinations – safe havens for kids dealing with the issue. For example, Facebook groups have been created to start discussions, post thoughts, share experiences, and promote the idea of bullying prevention, like Stop Bullying: Speak Up and I Oppose Bullying; on one group, I found an especially moving post:
I really hope you’ll take the first step & make a difference in someone else’s life tomorrow! Stick up for someone without being a bully to the bully, compliment someone just to make them smile, help someone who needs an extra hand, open the door for someone who’s [sic] arms are full, enjoy the day & just make a difference!
I truly believe that the above post shows how easy it can be to make someone’s day. If we all took the time to make a difference in our classmates’ or peers’ lives, who knows…maybe those 160,000 children would all be present at school.
Have you ever had to face bullying? What would you say to kids who are dealing with the issue today?