October marks the time each year when we bring attention to bullying prevention: how to identify, prevent and report it. It's important to have a specific month designated as National Bullying Prevention month, but bullying has become so rampant in our schools that it's a good idea to keep resources handy to educate students year-round on this harmful and serious problem.
No doubt due in part to social media's significant expansion over the past decade, bullying and cyberbullying can be found in schools all over our country. It does not discriminate based on a student's age, socio-economic background or any other demographic factor. In fact, recent statistics show that at least 1 student out of 4 has been bullied. And because bullying can create long-term repercussions for the victim and because many students receive no education at home on the matter, we need to ensure that bullying has no place in our schools or in our communities.
So how do we create no-tolerance environments where students feel safe, know what to look for and are empowered to speak up when they see bullying in action?
Education is the most important tool to help kids learn empathy for others and how hurtful and potentially damaging bullying can be. Free resources abound, and below are some of our favorites:
- Edutopia's bullying prevention resource page
- Oklahoma State Department of Education's resource page
- Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center
- STOMP Out Bullying resource toolkit
- Character.org's resource page