Organizations That Can Help The Fight Against Bullying
By: Jane Pastrana
If you google “bullying” one of the first statistics that pops up says about 77% of children have experienced bullying.
Out of that 77%, only 1 out of 5 children will admit to being bullied – or sometimes even being the bully.
With today’s technology and social media accessibility, cyber bullying has been climbing to the lead between physical and verbal bullying.
The biggest influence in the fight against bullying will be a child’s parent or teacher, which may or may not be you someday.
So, how can everyone get involved to bring that statistic down?
We need to bring awareness to this situation and teach children to be confident in who they are.
Luckily, we are now being provided access to more tools than ever to help fight against all types of bullying.
In 2006, PACER established October as National Bullying Awareness Month and organizations such as Stomp Out Bullying have continued to encourage activities to promote unity amongst students each week of October.
Stomp Out Bullying kicks off October with promoting awareness by encouraging students, faculty and adults to wear blue on the first Monday of the month.
Following that, each week has a particular theme to keep students active in the fight against bullying.
The week of October 9, children are encouraged to befriend someone new.
October 23 is the Week of Inclusion. During this week, students participate in #nooneeatsalone by making sure no one is left alone in their cafeteria during lunch.
The act of inclusion is extremely important in creating an environment that is not conducive to bullying, as well as teaching children how to act when they grow up.
From wearing blue on October 2, to #nooneeatsalone week, these are great ways to keep students active in creating a less isolated environment.
For more detailed information on how to get involved with Stomp Out Bullying’s monthly activities, check out stompoutbullying.org.
Empowering today’s youth is another excellent way to minimize the opportunity or the need for a child or teenager to bully others.
The Door is a great organization that gives you the opportunity to volunteer with counseling a diverse group of today’s youths (gay, straight, or minority) in a variety of needs for the individual.
They have volunteering opportunities that range from tutoring, administrative support and working with their creative arts program.
For more information and to apply for any of these great positions, go to door.org.
In addition to being aware of general bullying, being an advocate for the LGBTQ community is a cause that’s important to teach children early on as well.
With same-sex marriage legal in the United States, children are exposed to so many different combinations of families.
This may initiate bullying the children that come from a same-sex marriage or towards a child that isn’t comfortable with expressing who they are.
This past October 11 was National Coming Out Day which began in 1988.
All day long, celebrities and the social media community posted support and stories to help create a safe platform for those scared to express themselves.
While this is a wonderful day filled with positivity, it should be an important goal to create this environment every day of the year.
There are numerous ways to get involved to support the LGBTQ community by finding volunteering opportunities on gaycenter.org, or door.org as well.
At the end of the day, the best lesson to teach any child is to accept and celebrate someone’s differences as an opportunity to learn, grow, and make a new friend.
Bullying won’t go away overnight, but if we all get involved in promoting acceptance instead of judgement, it will help make this fight against bullying an easier one.