Letter to the Editor
To the Editor:
October is “National Bullying Prevention Month,” which focuses on preventing bullying, encouraging kindness, respect, acceptance, and inclusion.
PACER’S National Bullying Prevention Center created this nationwide campaign in 2006 to help raise awareness on the issue of bullying and promote ways to prevent it.
Bullying is a common form of violence for youth. According to PACER, one in five students report having been bullied sometime in their life. Forty-one percent of students who reported being bullied in school stated that they think the bullying would happen again.
The issue not only affects the individuals that have been bullied, but bystanders who witness the bullying also have an impact on them. Witnesses of bullying report feeling less secure, intimidated, and helpless to stop it. Witnesses are more likely to use tobacco, alcohol or other drugs; have increased mental health problems, and miss or skip school.
Laws and policies govern bullying prevention and intervention. Every state has bullying prevention legislation and most schools have bullying prevention policies.
However, bullying is not only a school issue. It can happen anywhere where youth come together: youth groups, competitions, neighborhoods, and online.
A message of unity helps spike the conversation. It is important to ensure that all students deserve to feel secure, supported, and accepted which is why we must promote acting with kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.
National Bullying Prevention Month is an opportunity to:
• Encourage our nation to act to create safe and supportive schools, communities, and online environments.
• Promote dialogue between educators, parents, and students on their roles in addressing and preventing bullying.
• Inspire everyone to promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion to help prevent bullying.
• Help create a world without bullying.
In addition, Unity Day is also celebrated on October 18, and everyone is encouraged to wear orange to spread awareness on bullying and promote unity and inclusion.
The act of wearing orange shows that youth experiencing bullying are not alone. It empowers those who are bullied, and those around them, to speak up against bullying and to reach out with kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.
Everyone’s action matters. We all have a role to play in bullying prevention. It is important for adults to know how to respond, to be there for victims of bullying, to hold those who bully accountable, and to support and educate youth on how to advocate for themselves and others.
If you are a victim of crime or would like more information regarding bullying, please contact Hands of Hope Resource Center at 320-732-2319.
General Crime and Child Abuse Services Coordinator
Hands of Hope Resource
Center of Todd County