National Bullying Prevention Month is observed every October. During this month, communities are encouraged to learn about bullying and how prevalent it is. Seventeen percent of American students report being bulled regularly. But the month is about more than just raising awareness; it’s about stopping bullies in their tracks. Activities throughout National Bullying Prevention Month focus on how to spot the signs in order to stop bullies, and how to provide a good example to stop new bullies from developing harmful behaviors.
National Bullying Prevention Month - History
National Bullying Prevention Month founded
The PACER Center started National Bullying Prevention Month to bring communities together and educate them about the impacts of bullying.
States instituted bullying laws
After the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School, various states began implementing laws aimed at curbing bullying and outlining punishment for it.
Not just for kids
Swedish psychologist Heinz Leymann defined and analyzed the acts that make up workplace bullying
How to Observe National Bullying Prevention Month
1. Make one new friend
If you're a student, commit to talking with or sitting with someone new one day this week. These simple acts can help someone who is experiencing bullying know that they are not alone.
2. Be proactive in prevention
This one applies to parents, teachers, and students. Know the signs of bullying, and use that knowledge to help pinpoint and prevent bullying in the future.
3. Be a good example
Bullying happens at all ages, and it isn't limited to schools. Be a good example at work, online, and at home. Show people around you that bullying is not tolerated.
4 Warning Signs Of Bullying
1. Unexplained injuries or property damage
Physical bullying is still a very real problem. Students who experience this often have bruises and scratches. Their property also tends to be targeted. They may have damaged school supplies or ripped clothing.
2. Faking injury or illness
The natural reaction for those who are being bullied is to avoid the bully. This can be taken to extremes, like faking illness or injury to avoid going to school or other social events.
3. Change in appetite
Some students encounter bullies at lunch. If your student is often skipping out on meals or starving when they get home, it could be a sign of bullying.
4. Decreased self-esteem — or anxiety
Students who are bullied may lose confidence or enthusiasm for everyday joys. If your student seems down on themselves, or anxious, it may be a sign of bullying.
Why National Bullying Prevention Month is Important
A. Bullied students need help
National Bullying Prevention Month can lead to positive results for students. During this month, new campaigns and calls to action can help vulnerable students get help, and stop bullying altogether.
B. Parents and teachers need reminding
Most students are still getting into the swing of things in October. National Bullying Prevention Month gives teachers and parents a refresher about the warning signs of bullying and the best ways to stop it.
C. It builds community
This month isn't just about cutting out negativity. It's also about building friendships and connections.