October is National Anti Bullying Month
A strong learning environment is a safe one free of bullying
October is National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month. During these weeks each year, hundreds of school districts and community organizations across the county unite to raise awareness of bullying in order to prevent it. As dedicated educators, we align with these efforts and the values they express. The stated DreamBox mission is “to radically transform the way the world learns.” For broad learning in bold ways to take place, all students must have a safe and encouraging learning environment.
A 2016 article in The Huffington Post reports that one incident of bullying occurs every seven minutes and “it is the most frequent form of violence that school-aged children encounter.” Bullying happens in school, neighborhoods after school, and through social media and texts.
The effects are traumatic and linked to a host of long-term emotional problems. Bullied children become anxious and insecure. The targeting makes them feel isolated and helpless, plummeting their self-esteem and sense of worth.
The founding organization of National Bullying Prevention Month is PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights), which dedicates a portion of its website to anti-bullying education: https://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/. PACER developed the initial campaign in 2006 to raise awareness of bullying, and shift the historical view of it as “a childhood rite of passage that made kids tougher.” When the reality is that the devastating effects of bullying include pained avoidance of school altogether, and truncated learning capability.
Here are several sobering facts on bullying that PACER provides:
- Bullying directly affects a student’s ability to learn. Students who are bullied find it difficult to concentrate and show a decline in grades.
- Students who are bullied report more headaches, stomachaches, depression, and anxiety than other students.
- More than 160,000 U.S. students stay home from school each day for fear of being bullied.
PACER partners with the National PTA, American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association to help schools, parents, and students face bullying. They also work with public policy leaders. CNN, Facebook, and Yahoo! Kids all support these efforts through posts and news coverage.
At DreamBox, we believe all children can excel at learning, no matter where they start, where they live, or who they are. Along with district administrators, teachers, principals, and parents, we are dedicated to helping children realize their potential. All students can achieve in school, with the support of the right learning environment. We stand with the awareness-raising work of many this month to put an end to bullying.