October Is National Bullying Prevention Month - Here's How You Can Get Involved
Updated February 03, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Guilbeault
The statistics on bullying are terrifying. The National Center for Education Statistics reported in 2016 that at least one out of five students had been bullied. The specific stats differ based on what state, city, and school it's in. However, the numbers are all alarming. The news has been filled with too many reports of students committing suicide after being a victim of being bullied in person or through cyberbullying. Attention needs to be drawn to the issue,and that's what October's National Bullying Prevention Month is working to accomplish.
This is something that everyone should be involved in. It doesn't matter if you are a student, teacher, parent, or anyone else. The more we all work together to stop bullying the more effective we can be. Bullying is not just something that takes place within the schools. Cyberbullying has become a huge problem with youth and adults alike. People of all ages don't hesitate to say things online to another person that they would never say directly to them. And, some adults experience bullying in the workplace as well.
What Does Bullying Look Like?
There are many different forms of bullying. The type of bullying many people think of is physical bullying. This is when a person is hurt. However, other forms of bullying are just as damaging including verbal, social, and cyber.
Verbal bullying includes things like name-calling, shaming, and insulting. Social bullying is excluding individuals from groups and activities. And, cyberbullying is doing any bullying activity online. This can be done through the internet, mobile devices, and other forms of technology. Cyberbullying is just as damaging as bullying that is done in person and can even be harder to deal with because it is more difficult to get away from.
Bullying is a problem that needs to be dealt with on all levels. October has been designated as National Bullying Prevention Month to help bring the issue into the light. The more the topic can be brought into the conversation the better chance there is of putting a stop to it. The following are ways that you can get involved.
School Schedules And activities For The Month
The first Monday in October is World Day of Bullying Prevention. On this day everyone is encouraged to wear blue to get children, schools, and communities to "go blue" together. You can purchase a blue STOMP Out Bullying shirt or wear a blue shirt of your own. This is a good way to support the effort and draw attention to the need to prevent future bullying.
Make Friends With Someone You Don't Know
During the week of October 8th, the focus is to get to know someone new. Take the time to talk to someone that you have never talked to before. If you see someone that is new to school take the time to talk to them. Being the new kid at school doesn't feel good and sometimes just one person taking the time to talk to you can make all the difference. If you've been in this situation before, you know what it feels like. Take a moment to help someone else out by not making them be in this situation.
During this week you should focus on spreading kindness both in school and online. Cyberbullying is just as big of a problem as bullying in person. It can feel even worse because you can't get away from it. Make sure you are kind to those you encounter throughout your day in person and on the internet.
STAND UP For Others
The week of October 15th is aimed at standing up for others. Bullies tend to stop their activities when someone else steps in to stand up for the person they are bullying. If you aren't part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem. If you don't feel safe stepping into the situation, find another person that can help.
Look for ways during the week to create positive messages that you can share with others.
Week Of Inclusion
The week of October 22nd is known as the Wek of Inclusion. The focus during this week is to make sure that everyone is included, and no one is left out. This includes making sure that everyone has someone to sit by in the lunchroom, on the bus, or at a table during study hall.
If you have ever had that moment of feeling like you were on the outside of a group, then you know just how bad that can feel. During National, Bullying Prevention Month develops the habit of including everyone. Look for ways to involve those that usually aren't involved.
Week Of Conversations Amongst Your Peers
One of the most effective ways to stop bullying is to educate people on the issue. During the last week of National Bullying Prevention Month, the focus is on creating conversations with peers in the schools.
The STOMP Out Bullying website has Student Participation Toolkits that help start these necessary conversations. Teachers can help by setting up a time for students to have discussions in the classroom. Encourage students to share their experiences with both bullying and cyberbullying in small groups. This biggest thing to remember in the schools is to get the word out. Spread awareness about the harm that bullying does.
Recognize Workplace Bullying
Most people know how to recognize bullying in the schools, but bullying in the workplace can look different,and many people don't know what to look for. Just by learning to identify the behavior and label it for what it is-bullying-can help you take steps to start addressing it.
Many of the statistics show that women are more likely than men to be bullied at work and those in senior management bully the majority of people. Some of the signs include:
- Verbal abuse
- Rumors causing reputation damage
- Negative evaluation of work that is unjust
These behaviors are not acceptable. If you are the victim of workplace bullying, go to your human resources department with the facts. You do not need to stand for this behavior.
Other Ways To Help The Cause
- Participate In A Run - Many organizations put together walks or run to raise money and awareness to put an end to bullying. Look for a local event in your area to participate. If you can't find one that is near you consider starting one in your own community to spread awareness.
- Attend A Class Or Seminar - Look for training to attend about bullying. There are starting to be more classes around the topic of cyberbullying. Educate yourself on what bullying is, what it looks like, and what to do about it if you see it happening.
- Model Positive Behavior - Whether you are a student or an adult you can help fight to bully by modeling positive behavior.
A lot of the messages that surround the anti-bullying efforts tend to focus on bullying that is due to differences such as sexual preference, the color of skin, and disabilities. But, remember that it is not just minorities that are bullied. People can be bullied for their religion, their choice to abstain from drugs or sex, lack of athletic ability, lack of education, not having the "right" clothes, or anything else.
Get Help For Bullying
If you are the victim of bullying, make sure you talk to someone about it. Do not try to deal with it on your own or hide the fact that it is happening. Even if bullying does not cause physical harm, it causes emotional harm. It can impact the way you feel about yourself, the way you feel about social situations, and your thoughts. If you are the victim of bullying, talk to a therapist.
If you believe that your child is being bullied, it's important that you help them get the help that they need. Bullying is serious. Don't chalk it up to "kids being kids." The percentage of suicides by those under the age of 18 is increasing. Cyberbullying is one reason that is believed to contribute to this fact. Bullying is serious. If you notice that your child seems withdrawn, emotional, or has a change in their behavior, set up an appointment for them to speak with a licensed therapist.
If you are the victim of bullying as an adult in your workplace or anywhere else get the help that you need. You do not need to put up with bullying behavior just to have a job.
A therapist can help you, your child or both learn how to handle the situation. They can help you learn how to respond, what actions to take, and how to process the situation that you are in. There is no reason to suffer in silence. A BetterHelp professional can help you.
Find a way to get involved in National Bullying Prevention Month because you can be a part of the solution.