October is National Anti-Bully Month and it’s a time to reinforce the importance of educating and increasing awareness of preventing bullies from attacking others.
National Bullying Prevention Month is a campaign in the United States founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Center for Bullying Prevention.The campaign is held during the month of October and unites communities nationwide to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. National Bullying Prevention Month is recognized in communities across the United States, with hundreds of schools and organizations signing on as partners.
What is Bullying
Many people think this behavior is easy to define. Their first image of bullying might be of a physically intimidating boy beating up a smaller classmate. That is an example of bullying, but bullying behaviors can be much more complex and varied than that typical stereotype. For example, harmful bullying can also occur quietly and covertly, through gossip or on the Internet, emails, or other ways that cause emotional damage.
Teaching Our Kids
As parents, we often worry about our children being bullied – or perhaps becoming bullies. We take steps to prevent such issues from occurring and do everything possible to protect our children – and to teach them to respect others.
Whitney Kropp rose to the occasion when she stood up proudly as her homecoming representative recently after being nominated by a small group of classmates — as a cruel joke on her. Katie Mardigian and Rose Burns have provided us with many valuable articles and tips on anti-bulling in Richmondmom.com articles like Back to School Back to Bullying, and Bullying Such an Ugly Word.
But did you realize that adults are bullied too?
Adults are Bullied Too
Many adults find it entertaining to bully others.
Maybe they bully others because of their hair style, skin color, speech, clothing, weight, or any number of things. Perhaps they bully someone simply because they don’t really know the person and it’s fun to judge on an outward appearance. But whatever the reason, bullying adults is just as hurtful and harmful as bullying children.
A Wisconsin news anchor was the victim of a recent bullying incident that caused emotional distress for her and her family — and she took to the airwaves to let people know how she felt about it.
While she admits to having some personal issues with her weight, that is no reason to bully her. And she let her listeners and the person who wrote her a scathing email know about it (see the video below). Her message is not only important for her viewers, but for all of us who are trying so desperately to teach our children and grandchildren to grow up and respect all individuals.
Children watch adults and they mimic their behaviors. If adults are acting as bullies, how do they expect their children to act?
Promote the Message – No Bullying!
What are your true colors when it comes to bullying?
If you care about students [or adults] who are bullied and if you want bullying to end, make your color ORANGE on Unity Day, Wednesday, October 10. That’s the day everyone can link together—in schools, communities and online—and send one large, ORANGE message of support to students [and adults] who have experienced bullying.
“The culture of bullying won’t end until people across the country take action and show kids [and adults] that they care,” says Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. “National Bullying Prevention Month is a great opportunity to do that. This is a very real and painful issue that kids [and adults] are facing but they don’t have to face it alone. Bullying can be prevented if we all work together to change the culture.”
Let’s take action and stand up to show kids we care – and let’s remember that adults are bullied too and we won’t stand for it. By setting an example of respecting others for who they are, we teach our children to grow up as responsible adults who will not tolerate bullying.
Wear your orange in support of anti-bullying on October 10.
PACER developed the initial campaign National Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week in response to the need to raise awareness of bullying, as it was historically viewed “a childhood rite of passage” and believed that bullying “made kids tougher”, when the reality is that bullying has devastating effects such as school avoidance, loss of self-esteem, increased anxiety, and depression. PACER reached out to the community through partnerships with education based organizations such as National PTA, American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association to provide schools, parents and students with resources to respond to bullying behavior and to begin the shift of societal acceptance of bullying to social change of addressing the issue through education and support. PACER disseminated nationwide press releases through the partners and media channels, encouraging a call to action to educate the community about their role in bullying prevention, which provided the groundwork for the campaign to be consistently recognized as an annual event.
News Anchor is Bullied – But Doesn’t Allow it to Define Her