October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, which was created 10 years ago by Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center. Since 2006, the event has grown to an entire month of education and awareness activities, and is being recognized by schools and communities throughout the world.
At Oak Forest Elementary School, author Trudy Ludwig recently spoke to students and parents about empowering themselves to combat bullying, including conversational prompts to halt or deflect bullying behavior. The PTA also invited parents from other surrounding schools to participate in the session.
Schools looking for ways to participate this month can utilize a few simple and inexpensive projects and activities to bring awareness to the effects of bullying, including the Chain of Kindness, Peace and Kindness, and Seeds of Awareness. Schools also have a number of valuable resources to address bullying concerns, including PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, Stop Bullying, and Stomp Out Bullying.
According to the Center for Disease Control, students who experience bullying are at increased risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and depression. And cyberbullying is at an all-time high, with 19.6% of high school students in the U.S. reporting to have been bullied online.
The Houston Independent School District takes allegations of bullying, in all its forms, very seriously. Under its Board policy, the district prohibits any kind of bullying and/or harassment on the basis of age, color, body-type, handicap or disability, ancestry, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. The district addresses bullying, including cyber-bullying, in its Code of Student Conduct.
For more information about National Bullying Prevention Month, go to pacer.org/bullying.