During the month of October communities, schools, and major corporations around the world participate in the National Bullying Prevention campaign to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. The goal of the campaign is to encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact bullying has on all children of all ages.  For October's National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, we explored the topic of Bullying.

Defining Bullying

Bullying is defined as aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. Involves a pattern of behavior repeated overtime and an imbalance of power (grade, age, physical strength or social status).

Recognizing Bullying

Recognizing the warning signs of bullying is an important first step in taking action against bullying. Victims often feel alone and do not report their bullying because bullying tends to make one feel helpless. It is not uncommon for a child to want to handle bullying on their own to feel control again. Kids may also not report bullying due to the fear of backlash, fear of humiliation and rejection by their peers. According to the National Center for Education Evaluation in 2010, 64% of children who were bullied did not report it and only 36% bullying was reported. The reasons for being bullied most often by students were looks, body shape, and race.

Kids who are being bullied often exhibit some warning signs. These students may:

  • Have torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books, or other belongings
  • Seem afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the school bus, or taking part in organized activities (such as clubs or sports) with peers
  • Appear sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he or she comes home
  • Complain frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or other physical problems

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Recognizing signs of kids who bully may allow for early intervention. These kids may:

  • Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity
  • Have a strong need to dominate and subdue other students and get their own way
  • Be impulsive, aggressive, or easily angered

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What is Not Bullying

  • Single episodes of social rejection or dislike
  • Single episode acts of nastiness or spite
  • Random acts of aggression or intimidation
  • mutual arguments, disagreements or fights.

These actions can cause great distress. However, they're not examples of bullying unless someone is deliberately and repeatedly doing them.

How to prevent bullying? 

Although, there is no single solution to bullying prevention. There are steps schools, educators, parents and community organizations can all work together with to address and minimize bullying behavior.

-Children learn from adult’s actions. Model how to treat others with kindness and respect. Even if you think they are not paying attention. Kids are always watching how adults manage stress and conflict, along with how they treat their friends, family and co-workers.

-Creating an open and safe space in all settings. Research tells us that children really do look to parents and caregivers for advice and help on tough decisions. Spending 15 minutes a day talking can reassure kids that they can talk to their parents if they have a problem.

-Talk about bullying directly. It is important to help children understand bullying. This can be done by having direct conversations and encouraging kids to speak about bullying.

How City Year Jacksonville helps create an inclusive environment.

City Year’s work in schools isn’t just about academics, we also work to help students build the skills they need to get along with each other like empathy and teamwork–while helping identify opportunities to increase engagement and promote an inclusive environment. Everyday our students see a diverse City Year Team working together respectably and inclusively.

You can learn more about how to help prevent bullying by exploring the following resources:

Audriana Hairston
Media and Communications Intern
City Year Jacksonville

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