Over 160,000 kids miss school every day because they are afraid of being attacked or harassed by other students. That’s why it is always important to learn about new anti-bullying initiatives, and October in particular marks National Bullying Prevention Month. Tragic cases of bullying and cyberbullying that end up in teen suicides are frequently in the news these days, and efforts like Bullying Prevention Month help raise awareness of these issues and remind people that bullying really is a serious – and growing – problem.
This month’s initiative is sponsored by the PACER Center, an organization for parents of children and young adults with disabilities, the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NEA) and the National PTA, all working together to encourage communities to increase awareness of the dangers of bullying and the all-too-frequent consequences. Other organizations, such as the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), are getting involved by providing resources for families, teens, school administrators, teachers and law enforcement personnel on how to recognize bullying, address instances of it and prevent it when possible. Additionally, Stomp Out Bullying has a “Student Participation Toolkit” that helps students encourage their schools to participate in anti-bullying efforts, prompt bullying and cyberbullying prevention in their communities and promote tolerance and acceptance instead of cruel and hurtful behaviors.
Cyberbullying in particular as a form of harassment has been on the raise lately, and is also one of the biggest online fears that parents have for their kids. No matter how many laws are proposed or initiatives like Bullying Prevention Month are put into place, cyberbullying will likely be around as long as kids are interacting with each other on social networks. The hope is to diminish scary and serious incidents as much as possible, through public efforts but also with parents discussing these issues with their kids, and teaching them to be respectful and smart about their online activities.
For more information and resources about the effects of bullying – and different ways both kids and parents can combat them – check out some articles from our Experts.
How do you educate your kids on the dangers of cyberbullying? Are their schools doing anything to recognize Bullying Prevention Month?