What Is National Bullying Prevention Month?
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Established by the Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER)’s National Bullying Prevention Center in 2006, this annual event raises awareness about the adverse effects of bullying on kids, both in person and online. Yet this is not just an “awareness" campaign; it provides schools and communities with comprehensive resources, events, and tools aimed at stopping bullying before it starts.
For teachers, this month offers a key opportunity to lead educational activities and initiate conversations that could change the lives of students. Given that kids today spend so much of their time online in ways that can be difficult to monitor, preventing cyberbullying is essential for protecting them from invisible threats.
What Is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is the use of digital platforms (like social media, text messages, or websites) to harass or intimidate other internet users. Unlike traditional bullying, online bullying allows aggressors to offend anonymously, making it difficult to catch and stop the culprit.
The Harmful Effects of Cyberbullying
Experiencing bullying in any form is not a normal or healthy rite of passage for kids, and it can have profound harmful impacts on a child’s development and well-being. Children and teens who experience online bullying are at higher risk for:
Anxiety and depression
Alcohol and drug use
Skipping school and/or poor academic performance
Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
An especially serious problem with online bullying is that it can be relentless, leaving children with no respite in which to recover. The long-term effects can be psychologically, academically, and socially devastating, particularly as healthy development and academic success are important foundations for success in adult life.
Teachers Play a Major Role in Cyberbullying Prevention
Teachers often serve as the first line of defense against in-person and online bullying. If you’re a teacher, you can use digital citizenship lessons to educate students about responsible online behavior and the importance of empathy and kindness both in and out of the classroom. Consider inviting a cyber safety education expert to give a presentation during a school assembly to prevent bullying at every grade level.
Teach Kids Cybersecurity Awareness With Net Positive
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Utah County is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens and leaders. We accomplish this by providing evidence-based programs with a focus on those that improve academic engagement, build character, and improve healthy behaviors.
Our Net Positive Program educates K-12 students about digital safety, health, citizenship, and leadership. After participating in our program, students are 97% better prepared to face internet dangers. Contact us to learn more and ask your school to schedule a Net Positive Presentation today!
October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. (2020). StopBullying.gov. https://www.stopbullying.gov/blog/2020/10/21/october-national-bullying-prevention-awareness-month
Peterson, S. (2022, November 1). National Bullying Prevention Month. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network. https://www.nctsn.org/resources/public-awareness/national-bullying-prevention-month