National Stop Bullying Day, which falls on the second Wednesday in October, schoolchildren, their teachers and their parents spend time learning about bullying and recognizing how they can prevent it. It calls on schools and organizations to bring together children, educators, and parents for the sake of preventing bullying situations. 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.
History of National Stop Bullying Day
Though there have always been bullies, it wasn’t until the 1970s that the issue began to be researched. Dr. Dan Olweus, a Norweigan psychologist, spearheaded efforts to better understand and prevent bullying. In 1983, in response to the tragic suicide of three boys who were being bullied, Dr. Olweus developed a bullying prevention program that helped to inform American anti-bullying efforts in the 1990s.
In 1999, after the school shooting at Columbine, anti-bullying programs sprung up in and around schools. The tragic event seemed to give way to the movement, which focused on fixing the environment around victims – no longer putting the weight of the burden on the victim. To combat bullying, anti-bullying laws and policies were introduced, and teachers focused on empowering bystanders, policing classrooms and hallways, and punishing and reforming the bullies.
Georgia and California were two of the states that were quickest to adopt anti-bullying legislation. For California, this came in 2008 and focused specifically on eliminating the emerging threat of cyberbullying. This followed the Federal law that stated it was illegal to abuse and harass others online – while not explicitly naming cyberbullying, it went a long way towards prevention of the act.
In addition to legislation, 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. Started by two college women in 2009, The Kind Campaign aims to stop bullying between girls. Today, bullying is a nationally-recognized issue, and there are many resources for parents, teachers, victims of bullying, and bystanders to help stomp out the problem.
National Stop Bullying Day timeline
In 2008, California passed the nation’s first law against the emerging threat of cyberbullying.
While not explicitly a cyberbullying law, the federal law passed in 2006 made it a crime to abuse or harass someone online.
Created in 2005, the STOMP program is dedicated to eradicating cyberbullying. It also raises awareness of homophobia, racism, and more.
The first systematic bullying research was conducted by Dr Olweus in 1970.
National Stop Bullying Day FAQs
When did the anti-bullying movement begin?
The history of the anti-bullying movement is surprisingly short in the U.S. Until the tragedies of the Columbine Massacre in April of 1999, there were no state laws in place against bullying. In May of 1999, the state of Georgia enacted the first anti-bullying legislation.
Why do we celebrate anti-bullying week?
In the UK, Anti-bullying Week 2020 is being held between the 16th and 20th November and is organised by Anti-Bullying Alliance. The effects of bullying can have a massive impact on all individuals, whether that is at school, work, college or socially.
Why do we wear odd socks?
What’s Odd Socks Day all about? People are being encouraged to wear their favourite odd socks to symbolise that we are all different and that children should be themselves, accepting of one another and celebrate difference.
How to Observe National Stop Bullying Day
After you’ve learned about the types and dangers of bullying, share with your social circle. Increased awareness and prevention is the best way to improve the lives of those who quietly suffer. Posting your support of their struggle helps as well!
Tell an adult when you see bullying
One of the most effective ways to stomp out bullying is being an involved bystander. Often, the person being bullied feels powerless to tell an adult about the situation - that’s where a bystander comes in. Telling an adult when you see bullying is doing what’s right.
Attend an anti-bullying event
Many schools and community organizations hold anti-bullying events to raise awareness and help prevent bullying situations. These could be anything from a fun run to an assembly with a guest speaker. Attend one near you to learn more about bullying, pledge to never be a bully, and pick up tips on how to stomp out bullying!
5 Important Facts About Bullying
1 in 5 students have been bullied
Of schoolchildren between 12 and 18, 1 in 5 reported being bullied in school.
It heavily affects 6th graders
The grade in which children more commonly report bullying is 6th grade - 31%.
Bullying is less likely to be reported in high school
Less than 40% of high schoolers told an adult about incidences of bullying at any time.
It has caused kids to skip school
According to one shocking statistic, around 160,000 teens have skipped school due to bullying.
Bystanders absolutely can end bullying
When a peer bystander intervenes, the bullying situation ends in over half of the cases.
Why National Stop Bullying Day is Important
It saves lives
The humiliation, anger, sadness, hopelessness, and a plethora of other feelings that bullying causes can feel insurmountable. Besides, bullying itself can be violent and dangerous. Stomping out bullying is imperative to improving and saving lives.
It raises awareness of all forms of bullying
We may think of one specific form of bullying when the word comes to minds, but it exists in a myriad of ways. Forms of bullying include cyberbullying, physical bullying, verbal bullying, and social bullying. Some types of bullying can also fall under the term “harassment.”
It encourages bravery
Whether you’re the victim of bullying or you’re a bystander, it takes guts to open up about the situation or report it to an authority. Many fear for their safety, well-being, or social status. National Stop Bullying Day can give those affected by bullying the extra push to speak out and correct their situation - and others’.
National Stop Bullying Day dates