Communities urged to take action against bullying
Nearly one-third of all school-aged children are bullied each year - upwards of 13 million students.
During National Bullying Prevention Month in October, communities are urged to come together and take action to send a message that bullying will not be accepted in their town or school.
Founded by PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center in October 2006, National Bullying Prevention Month is now a nationwide event recognized in schools and communities and supported by the National Education Association, the American Federation for Teachers and the National PTA among others.
"We all know what the research shows - that bullying can erode self-esteem, impact learning at school, cause anxiety and depression, and even lead to suicide," said Julie Hertzog, director of PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center based in Minneapolis, Minn. "Many students do not feel adults are adequately addressing this issue. We're hoping that communities across the county will take action and respond to that concern this October, so students who are bullied know there's support and help in their town."
Community members can take action in several ways:
- Use the free online resources from PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center tailored to elementary and middle school kids, teens, parents, teachers and other adults and take a pledge to put an end to bullying (PACER.org/Bullying, PACERTeensAgainstBullying.org or PACERKidsAgainstBullying.org)
- Send a united message of support by wearing orange on Unity Day, Wednesday, Oct. 10 to "Make It Orange and Make It End."
"Wearing orange on October 10th is a great way to make a powerful statement," said Paula F. Goldberg, PACER Center's executive director. "Anyone can join with us to "Make It Orange and Make It End." To display the official color of National Bullying Prevention Month, students and adults can wear orange, hand out orange "UNITY" ribbons, write the word "UNITY" on their hands or school binders, and update their Facebook pages with a message from PACER.org/bullying. To order the official orange T-shirt of National Bullying Prevention Month and find other ways to "Make It Orange and Make It End," visit PACER.org/bullying/nbpm/unity-day-t-shirt.asp.
- Become a "partner or "champion" during National Bullying Prevention Month at PACER.org/bullying/nbpm to actively spread the word and get others involved. Organizations and individuals can also take an active role during National Bullying Prevention Month by visiting PACER.org/bullying/nbpm and choosing to be Partners or Champions during National Bullying Prevention Month, or signing the digital petition pledging, "The End of Bullying Begins with Me," at PACER.org/bullying/digitalpetition. National partners of the month include the National Education Association, the American Federation for Teachers, the National PTA, and many others.
- Help a student create a bullying prevention plan available at PACER.org/bullying/resources/publications/plan. Educators working with a student who is being bullied, parents looking for ways to help their child, or students who wants to take action can download PACER's student action plan at PACER.org/bullying/resources/publications/plan. The plan offers an opportunity for students - either on their own or with their parents and teachers - to develop their own bullying prevention strategy.
Last year, 1.4 million people in nearly 200 countries used the National Bullying Prevention Center's resources and web-based tools to plan events, activities, outreach and educational initiatives. Resources are available at PACER.org/bullying/resources. The tools are available on three websites: PACER.org/Bullying for parents, teachers, and other adults; PACERTeensAgainstBullying.org for teens; and PACERKidsAgainstBullying.org for elementary school students.
PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center provides creative and interactive resources that are designed to benefit all students, including students with disabilities. It offers educators, students, families and individuals the tools they need to address bullying in schools, recreational programs or community organizations. For more information, visit PACER.org/bullying or call 952-838-9000.