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October is World Bullying Prevention Month 

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By Cara Beth Lewis 

Bullying is a timeless issue that challenges children and adults worldwide. In October, the world recognizes Bullying Prevention Month, and the goal is to “Stomp Out Bullying.” The official title is: World Bullying Prevention Month™ An initiative of STOMP Out Bullying™.

Stompoutbullying.org stated, “Throughout October, students and adults alike are encouraged to #BlueUp by wearing our blue shirts, or their own, to make sure that bullying prevention is heard around the world. We chose blue because in many diverse cultures blue brings peace. The color conveys importance and confidence. For 15 years, this campaign has been so successful that it has gone global.”

In honor of the final week of World Bullying Prevention Month, start a conversation among your peers. Discuss how you can make a positive change in your school or workplace. Teachers can have an open conversation with their students and discuss personal experiences with bullying, and how they believe things could be made better. Change starts small. (Read our article about Make A Difference Day.)

Listed below are facts about bullying from DoSomething.org.

  1. In the US, 1 in 5 students ages 12-18 has been bullied during the school year.

  2. Approximately 160,000 teens have skipped school because of bullying.

  3. Students who reported that they were frequently bullied scored lower in reading, mathematics, and science than their peers who reported that they were never or rarely bullied.

  4. The most commonly reported type of bullying is verbal harassment (79%), followed by social harassment (50%), physical bullying (29%), and cyberbullying (25%).

  5. Labeling an incident as bullying can be important because it influences whether students tell an adult, as well as how adults respond to the student’s report.

  6. More than half of bullying situations (57%) stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied.

  7. 6th grade students experience the most bullying (31%).

  8. 70% of school staff have seen bullying. 62% witnessed bullying two or more times in the last month, and 41% witness bullying once a week or more.

  9. Students are less likely to report bullying as they get older. Only 39% of high schoolers notified an adult of bullying.

  10. 42% percent of students who reported being bullied at school indicated that the bullying was related to at least one of the following characteristics: physical appearance (30%), race (10%), gender (8%), disability (7%), ethnicity (7%), religion (5%), and sexual orientation (4%).

  11. Over half of students ages 12-18 who reported being bullied believed their bullies had the ability to influence what other students thought of them.

We should not only focus on stopping bullying in October – it should be something we encourage all year ’round.

RESOURCES:

No Bully Help Hotline: 1-866-488-7386

STOMP Out Bullying HelpLine: view hours and chat online

GLBT National Youth Talkline: 1-800-246-7743

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255