October is National Bullying Prevention Month

Did you know over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year?

Bullying is defined as an unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.  Children who bully use their “power” to control or harm others.  There are three types of bullying: verbal, social, and physical.  Anyone can be bullied, and anyone can be a bully.  Both children who are bullied and those who bully can have serious, lasting effects.  Long-term consequences of bullying include depression, substance abuse, aggressive behaviors, and school absence.  The month of October may be National Bullying Prevention Month, but awareness of bullying should always be spread.

There are warning signs to look for with bullying.  Recognizing warning signs is an important step to bringing awareness and preventing bullying.  Some signs a child is being bullied are: unexplained injuries, changes in eating habits, difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares, decreasing grades, or self-destructive behaviors.  These are only some signs that a child may be having problems with a bully.  Signs that a child is bullying others include: getting into physical or verbal fights, being increasingly aggressive, not accepting responsibility for their actions, or exhibiting overly competitive behavior or worry about their reputation.  Bullying can make anyone feel helpless and may cause them to not ask for help, but knowing the signs is one way to try and offer help to any child needing it.

Preventing bullying is key to helping children.  Talking to children about bullying so they understand it can be a great way to make sure they know how to get help if they need or want it.  Keep those lines of communication open so children know they are safe and can always come to a trusted adult for advice.  Encourage children to do what they love and help them boost their confidence.  And most importantly, model good behavior with how to treat others with kindness and respect.

Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) is committed to making sure their schools are safe and effective learning environments for all children.  To help spread awareness about anti-bullying DCPS is encouraging people to wear orange on October 24th.  Children should want to come to school and shouldn’t fear getting an education.  Show your support and help spread awareness on bullying and all its effects.

Communities In Schools of Jacksonville is proud to work with The Len Mattiace Foundation and Duval County Public Schools to support the Stop The Bullying Campaign, to learn more about this campaign click here.