By: Hillary Ladig, Communications Coordinator, National Safe Place Network
October is upon us – a month many associate with the start of the fall season, cooler temperatures, Halloween and pumpkins. In addition to these common themes, the month also brings to light the topic of bullying prevention. October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time when communities unite to raise awareness of bullying prevention through events, activities, outreach and education.
Bullying was once considered a harmless childhood ritual experienced by many youth. Today, research indicates that bullying has significant short-term and long-term effects that impact education, health and safety. PACER’s National Bullying Resource Center highlights the following negative outcomes related to bullying:
- Education: Bullying can negatively impact a child’s access to education and lead to school avoidance, decrease in grades, inability to concentrate, loss of interest in academic achievement and increase in dropout rates.
- Health: Bullying can lead to physical and mental health problems, including headaches and stomach ache, sleeping problems, low self-esteem, increased fear or anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress.
- Safety: Bullying impacts a young person’s sense of well-being, such as self-isolation, increased aggression, self-harm and suicidal ideation, feeling of alienation at school, fear of other students, and retaliation.
PACER offers several resources to use this month and throughout the year to inspire, educate and encourage others to join the movement to prevent bullying. Sign a petition, register your school or organization as a Champion Against Bullying, participate in Unity Day – there are many opportunities to get involved. Click here to learn more and take action: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/
Bullying prevention starts with YOU! To learn more about bullying prevention, please check out the following resources:
- Stop Bullying – http://www.stopbullying.gov/
- Violence Prevention Works – http://www.violencepreventionworks.org/public/bullying.page
- PACER Center’s Kids Against Bullying – http://www.pacerkidsagainstbullying.org/kab/
- PACER Center’s Teens Against Bullying – http://www.pacerteensagainstbullying.org/tab/
- Stomp Out Bullying – http://www.stompoutbullying.org/