When most people think of October, Halloween and scary masks are some of the first things that come to mind. However, October is also a month to recognize a far more frightening reality: Bullying. October 1st marks the beginning of National Bully Prevention Month, a campaign started in 2006 by the PACER’s National Bully Prevention Center to bring awareness to the issue of bullying and bully prevention. Throughout the month of October, communities all over the country unite to educate those around them about what bullying looks like, the long term effects of bullying, and what can be done to prevent this epidemic from spreading.
National Bully Prevention Month is only a piece of PACER’s National Bully Prevention Center, which is a branch of the PACER Center, an advocacy and resource center for parents of children with disabilities. In 2000, the PACER Center began receiving more and more calls from parents whose children were being bullied as a result of their disabilities. These parents felt at a loss and were desperate for resources to guide them through this difficult situation. In response, the PACER center began creating curriculum and guides to help parents and children with disabilities respond to bullying situations. By 2005, the center could see the positive impact their work was having and decided that these resources needed to be available to all children, not just those with disabilities. In 2006, PACER’s National Bully Prevention Center was born. Today, the center is a hub of resources and a leader in bully prevention, partnering with individuals and organizations such as Bethany Mota, Disney, Green Giant, and Frito-Lay to bring an end to bullying.
One question you may be asking: “is it really necessary to have an entire center dedicated to bully prevention? Is bullying really that big of a problem?” Sadly, yes. Recent studies report that 1 in 4 children experience bullying in the U.S. and 30% of young people admit to having acted as a bully. Perhaps more frightening is the fact that this behavior has been reported among children as young as 3. From poor grades, depression, dysfunctional future relationships, anxiety, heart issues, weight difficulties, and even a higher tendency toward criminal activity, the effects of bullying, on both victims and bullies, can be far reaching and can last a lifetime.
The numbers aren’t all bad, though. It has also been shown that in 57% of cases, bullying stops when a peer intervenes and school based prevention programs have decreased bullying incidents by 25%.
Change is happening.
The best part of all: you can be a part of that change! PACER’s National Bully Prevention Center provides a wide variety of ways you can get involved in National Bully Prevention Month and join with thousands of other throughout the country to end bullying and bring help to those who have been bullies or who are bullies themselves. Here are a few ways you can get involved:
These are just a few of nearly limitless options for raising awareness about bullying. Find a way to use your gifts and talents like these kids did! The important thing is to spread the word. What ideas do you have for ways to celebrate National Bully Prevention Month this year? Let us know in the comments!
In celebration of National Bully Prevention Month, we will be highlighting a different bully prevention organization, author, or individual working towards bringing bullying to an end each week this month on Laughing Leopard Blog! Our first feature will be an interview with L.A. Kefalos, author of This is A. Blob, a picture book featuring a sticky, purple bully named A. Blob, who may have more to him than first meets the eye. Check back here next week for exclusive insights into what inspired L.A. to write This is A. Blob and what message she would like to convey to her readers!
About Laughing Leopard Press
Hello! We are Laughing Leopard Press, an independent book publisher from Akron, Ohio. At Laughing Leopard Press, we’re interested in publishing works that contribute to our understanding of this wonderful world. Through this blog, we hope to add to that understanding with commentary on life, literature, and a few things in between. We hope you enjoy the blog and take some time to talk with us in the comments or on our social media sites. Happy reading!
This is A. Blob by L. A Kefalos. $14.95
$1.00 is donated to charity for each book sold on this site--half to St. Jude's and the other half to PetFix Northeast Ohio.