October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Alexander County Schools’ goal is to
raise awareness and provide bullying prevention tips through a social media campaign
on each Wednesday during the month.
The Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Education released the first
federal uniform definition of bullying in 2014. The core elements of bullying are
unwanted aggressive behavior, observed or perceived power imbalance, and a repetition
of behaviors. Three broad categories of bullying include physical, verbal, and social. Bullying can happen anywhere at any time. Bystanders who intervene on behalf of those being bullied have the greatest impact on reducing bullying behavior. Seventy percent of all U.S. students in schools have indicated that they observed bullying. Since teachers, administrators, and parents are not always with young people the best defense is to raise awareness and give tips on what to do.
Think before you speak !
Bullying behavior begins with thoughts that turn into words. Stop and think about hurtful
and harmful words in your daily conversations. A common quote often credited to
Mahatma Gandhi begins with “watch your thoughts for they become your words.” Each
person has the power to choose kind words over careless words. The most common type
of bullying is verbal.
Don’t participate, persuade
When you are with friends or classmates who use careless words or are unkind, persuade
or encourage them to stop. Your words can make a big difference. Often if a bully
doesn’t have an audience, he loses power. Never laugh or join in when someone is
bullied. These actions contribute to social bullying. Even if you don’t say anything, if you
are with a bully, you are contributing to the behavior.
Only twenty to thirty percent of students who are bullied notify adults. Unreported
verbal bullying can turn to physical bullying. Bullying behavior should be reported when
it happens – to you or others. Ten percent of students in North Carolina miss school
because they feel unsafe at school or on their way to and from school.
Stop bullying on the spot
When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior, they send the
message that it is not acceptable. Research shows that consistently addressing bullying
behaviors stops bullying.
Parents, school staff, and other adults in the community can prevent bullying by talking
about it, building a safe school environment, and creating a community-wide bullying
More tips on bullying prevention can be found at www.alexander.k12.nc.us
and on the Alexander County Schools social media pages.