October is Bullying Prevention Awareness month. If you’re like me, then you probably have at least a few Facebook friends or Twitter followers who are educators. I posted the following video link along with this text on my Facebook page to share with friends:
October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. Stop bullying before it starts! Check out http://www.stopbullying.gov/ for resources and videos like this to share with youngsters.
Why Share? Even if my friends are not educators, many of them are parents or grandparents. In addition, some represent disenfranchised groups and groups representing those who cannot speak up for themselves like animals. In less than 30 minutes six of my friends engaged with it. So, my posting the link meant that I shared awareness with more than 1,800 individuals (my friends as well as friends of friends). Wow! Find the National Bullying Prevention Center’s Social Media Sites here.
What to Share?
Statistics. In the U.S., 20% of students in grades 9–12 experienced bullying (2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, CDC). Bullied kids are “more likely than kids who are not bullied to miss school or to drop out of school. In addition, bullied kids are “more likely to have decreased academic achievement, when compared with other kids who aren’t bullied, in terms of their grade point average, and standardized test scores.” Dr. Marci Hertz, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [website].
Definitions. Bullying may be verbal, social, or physical unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time [website].
Laws in Your State. State and local lawmakers have taken action to prevent bullying and protect children. Through laws and model policies, each state addresses bullying differently. Find out how your state refers to bullying in its laws and what they require on part of schools and districts. [http://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/index.html].
Resources. Classroom Toolkits, Community Toolkits, Role Plays, Coloring Books, “Create a Video” Challenge, and much more are free resources available for students, educators, and parents. Check them out and share them to raise awareness and increase understanding of individuals about how to respond to bullying.
Take Action. The StopBullying.gov website lists several actions school leaders, educators, and staff can do to make schools safer and prevent bullying, including (see webpage):
In Results that Last, Studer describes how we as leaders (and teachers fit here as well) develop plans for reaching goals, set up systems to implement the goals and recognize improvement. He also describes that (p. 189):
We don’t hit the home run until each employee assumes responsibility for improving the organization. When individual accountability becomes the norm, then companies are poised to move from good to great.
Consider what this means for bullying prevention awareness. Doing our part as leaders, teachers, and parents to assume responsibility for improving the educational experience for all children—providing foremost a safe learning environment for all students—must happen.
Studer, Q. 2008. Results that Last.
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