Everyone has seen it: someone eating alone in the cafeteria or being teased by their peers. What may seem like harmless banter can be taken way too far and shatter the self-esteem and happiness of a young mind. According to DoSomething.org, bullying has reached beyond the traditional school grounds and now includes intimidating or harassing someone by text message, email, and social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a nation-wide campaign to “Stomp Out Bullying”. Teen stars, politicians, school officials, and community leaders are bringing attention to this national issue. The best way to address bullying is to stop it before it even starts. StompOutBullying.org has a whole list of ideas for schools to participate in throughout the month of October to end bullying and encourage unity in schools:
The week of October 8th
- Make friends with someone you don’t know at school
- Challenge others to be kind
The week of October 15th – STAND UP for others week
- Create positive messages on post-it notes and hand them out to students at school
- Hold a “kindness” dance at school
- Create anti-bullying videos and share them on the STOMP Out Bullying site
- Share inspirational stories on the STOMP Out Bullying site
The week of October 22nd – Week of Inclusions
- Don’t let anyone at school eat alone in the cafeteria or on a school field trip. Make it the week of #NoOneEatsAlone
- Include other students in school activities
- Include other students in afterschool actives
- Invite someone you don’t know that well to sit next to you on the bus. Learn about each other.
- At one point or another, each one of us has felt insecure, stressed out, or alone. It is important to remind our friends and classmates that we are all in it together and we are there to listen and support each other. Use the hashtag #HereForYou on social media to let your classmates know that they have your support and a person to reach out if they ever need to talk.
The week of October 29th – Start the week with conversations among your peers
- Meet with fellow students and discuss how you can Change The Culture at your school.
- Use our Student Participation Toolkit to begin conversations on how your school can be judgement and bully free.
- Hold a discussion in the classroom where students can speak openly and discuss their experiences with bullying and cyber bullying, and how the experiences have affected them and how they dealt with those moments.
The practices carried out during National Bullying Prevention Month should become a lifestyle! Together, we can end bullying not just in schools, but worldwide.
Click below to view a powerful video from the CDC highlighting how one simple act can make a positive impact for a victim of bullying. “Be Someone’s Hero; Stand up and speak out”.