October is Anti-Bullying Month

The aim of anti-bullying month is to prevent bullying from happening.  It is designed to hold schools accountable when they fail to protect our children and to force them to take appropriate steps to respond to bullying.  Bullying can come in many forms, and victims can feel helpless or unsure of how to stop the situation. While bystander intervention is an effective way to stop bullying in real-time, understanding how it can be prevented can be even more important.

Today, organizations and foundations to prevent and eradicate bullying have significantly helped combat the issue. Examples include the National Bullying Prevention Center, launched by the group PACER in 2006, and the STOMP Program in 2005, which is dedicated to eradicating cyberbullying, racism, and homophobia.

Here’s some facts about bullying:

  • 1 in 5 students have been bullied
  • It heavily affects 6th graders
  • Bullying is less likely to be reported in high school
  • It has caused kids to skip school
  • Bystanders absolutely can end bullying

National Stop Bullying Day is October 13th.  The observance of this day:

  • Saves lives
  • It raises awareness of all forms of bullying
  • It encourages bravery

Signs your child is being bullied:

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, such as suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide

Have a dialogue with your children and watch for the signs of bullying.  Need more info, go to www.stopbullying.gov or www.pacerteensagainstbullying.org.

Sources: National Today, StopBullying.gov