Stand Up to Bullying – Everyone’s Responsibilty
Over 1.3 million students in more than 2,100 schools participated in “Stand Up to Bullying Day” in May 2012. These students signed up at stand4change.org and represented every state as well as 40 additional countries. Even if your children weren’t among them, it’s not too late to get an exclusive new app for their smart phone and take the “Defeat the Label Pledge” which encourages students to speak up and stand up against bullying, and pledge not to call names, spread rumors or use hurtful language in school or online.
With a child being bulled every seven minutes, and 160,000 students missing school each day because of their fear of bullying, parents have a role to play too. Children who are taunted and harassed are more likely to fall behind in their studies, become sick and/or depressed, miss school or even drop out. The most frightening result of bullying is what’s become known as “bullycide,” where individuals commit suicide to escape the torment.
Studies have shown that having one caring adult to turn to can make all the difference to a child who is being bullied. It is imperative that students know who they can count on at school or in their community for a listening ear and a helping hand.
In line with this, the National Education Association (NEA) has created its Bully Free: It Starts With Me Campaign to help identify adults willing to stand up and support students. In return, NEA will supply them with the resources they need to provide solace and aid, ask the right questions, and take the appropriate actions needed to stop the bullying. The greater hope is that beyond an immediate resource for students, this program will become part of a larger effort to bully-proof our schools.
The end to bullying starts with creating a safe learning environment and supportive communities for our students. For more information on bullying and what can be done to stop and prevent it, visit NEA’s Bully Free: It Starts With Me Campaign and take the pledge.