Saturday, October 15, 2022

A Review of National Bullying Prevention Month

 


The month of October is designated as National Bullying Prevention Month. It was begun in 2006 by the Pacer Center in Minnesota. The Pacer Center is known as “Parents Helping Parents” and they focus on being Champions for Children with Disabilities. 


Don't Laugh at Me


Children with disabilities seem more prone to bullying than other children, but, sad-to-say, over the years bullying has become more widespread and often affects any child who is 'shy' or 'small for their age' or 'overweight' or just different in some way.  


Don't Call Me Names


I don't remember bullying being a 'thing' when I was a child, although I do remember one particular incident that affected me strongly in second grade; enough that I never forgot it. And not long ago I remember having a discussion with my grown children who worry about bullying affecting their own children. I said that didn't seem to be a problem when they were young and in school and all three related incidents of bullying they had experienced that they never told me about.


Therefore, bullying is not new, but today's awareness is bringing it into the open. So much so, that programs have been, and are being, developed to eliminate bullying ~ which is mean, aggressive and potentially life-threatening. It occurs in schools, on the playground, and now we have 'cyberbullying'. 


Don't Get Your Pleasure From My Pain


Bullying can be as simple as teasing a child because she has freckles or as terrible as calling names or shunning a child for being different. It all has the same impact!


Things to Do to Help Prevent Bullying


  • Students can be taught to practice empathy by befriending someone who is being bullied and report bullying when you see it.
  • Teachers can reward students who show respect for others and who demonstrate thoughtfulness for their classmates, for adults, and for their school. 
  • School administrators can plan bullying prevention programs that help parents, teachers and students understand the problem and how to handle it.


Wear and Share Orange – Unity Day



On the third Wednesday of October (October 19th in 2022), wear orange to show unity for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. It also sends a visible message that no child should ever experience bullying.


*This orange Unity Shirt, and others like it, is available on Amazon.


Operation Respect


In 2000, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary fame) began Operation Respect (OperationRespect.org), a nonprofit organization that brings to children, in schools and camps, a curriculum of tolerance and respect for each other's differences. 


In God's Eyes We're All the Same

Someday We'll All Have Perfect Wings.


The idea came about when Peter's children, Bethany and Christopher, heard the song “Don't Laugh at Me”. The song was written by Allen Shamblin and Steve Seskin. The idea for the song came about when Allen's daughter came home from school in tears because her peers were teasing her about her freckles. The song is a ballad about various characters (children and a crippled homeless man) who have been teased and are just asking for acceptance from others. 


You don't have to be my friend, 

But is it Too Much to Ask?

Don't Laugh at Me





I heard Peter Yarrow sing this song at a concert in Savannah, Georgia in October 2013. It made a big impression on me and I can see why Peter uses this song as the theme for his “Operation Respect” organization.

 

Related Post:


*National Bullying Prevention Month review written by Wednesday Elf





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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8 comments:

  1. Bullying seems to be a problem that has been with us forever. There will always be those who think themselves superior to others and make others feel less! We need to learn how to stop this behavior or at least mitigate some of the response to that behavior. Giving children a voice and listening to their concerns is of utmost importance. While I personally would love to see all kinds of bullying gone, I feel that it won't ever happen unfortunately. But awareness is definitely making this problem a little better for those who have been bullied. <3

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  2. Thank you for your thoughts on this subject, Olivia. I fully agree with you. Awareness of the problem is half the solution.

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  3. I, too, was a victim of bullying in grade school and it was devastating. Those emotional scars may eventually heal, but they never disappear entirely. I imagine the effects must be far worse when the victims of bullying have disabilities.

    Children can be both remarkably kind and remarkably cruel. Modeling, teaching and rewarding kindness, empathy and inclusion at an early age is so important! I wish it were as fundamental and required a subject as mathematics.

    Thanks so much for shining a light on this important issue, Elf!

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    Replies
    1. I think we all have experienced some form of bullying in our lives. It IS an important issue, even more so today. If you think about it, even Nation's around the world 'BULLY' each other - the stronger or meaner preying on the weakest. Awareness is the beginning of the solution, I feel.

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  4. I've seen bullying all my life, in various forms and against a vary of people, just as you said. I have recently noted bullying of the elderly. Again, that is about who is most vulnerable in our society. For too long, I think we all looked the other way, perhaps not even noticing it. Having a dedicated awareness month is an excellent idea, not only for education, but for becoming more observant.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for mentioning bullying of the elderly, Mouse. That is just as important as a child being bullied. It's very true that the most vulnerable are those that are often targeted. It's all wrong, no matter when and where it happens. Society needs to get back to 'caring' about each other. In other words, whether religious or not, we all need to follow the "Golden Rule".

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  5. I was never a victim of bullying (gossip stuff maybe - a different kind of nastiness) but not bullying - however, someone in my family was and it's a horrendous thing to deal with for everyone, especially the child going through it. It's heartbreaking as a human sharing this earth with others to witness the unholy things people will do to each other. I still hold on to hope, but it's things like this that test us. Awareness, education and talk - I could have used more of that when I was younger - it was a different time - glad that things are slowly progressing.

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  6. It is a good thing to shine a light on bullying in all areas of life. I recall my parents saying that bullying said a lot more about the state of mind and lack of emotional maturity of the bullies than the bullied. There is no excuse for bullying and everyone ought to be taught to be kind and compassionate.Life is never linear the strong can become weak, the invulnerable become vulnerable in a heartbeat and it works the other way too, so it is always best to treat people in a way you would wish to be treated. Awareness is important, empathy and respect are powerful, followed by action.

    ReplyDelete

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