(SPM Wire) With children back in their school routines, October is the perfect time for local communities nationwide to unite to raise awareness of bullying prevention through education, outreach and activities. This is the message from the organizers behind National Bullying Prevention Month, which occurs each October.
What was once historically viewed as “a childhood rite of passage” is no longer the case, as far from “making kids tougher,” bullying can result in such demoralizing effects as anxiety, self-esteem-loss, depression and school avoidance — and even lead to physical injury or worse.
The special month has its roots in a week-long campaign by the PACER Center, an organization that assists young people with disabilities. It has since expanded to a month-long initiative to combat bullying, and is recognized in communities across the country, with hundreds and hundreds of schools and organizations contributing as partners.
This year, such celebrities as Lea Michelle, Zachary Quinto, Emma Roberts, Robin Roberts and others have taped special videos to campaign to stop bullying. More details are available at www.stompoutbullying.org, where students can share their own anti-bullying videos, as well. Other organizations, like The Kind Campaign, are pitching in with school programs and assemblies. Information is about The Kind Campaign is available for parents, students and educators at www.kindcampaign.com.
PACER, which developed the initial National Bullying Prevention and Awareness campaign back in 2006, has gone on to forge partnerships with such education organizations as the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the National PTA. To help individuals and communities respond to bullying, PACER is providing free resources for schools, parents and students at www.pacer.org/bullying.
Of course, all the anti-bullying resources can be used beyond the month of October, urge experts, to help inspire, educate and encourage people to better deal with and prevent bullying year-round.