This month, groups across the country committed to stop bullying will release new resources, campaigns, and efforts aimed at bringing awareness to this important issue facing our youth.
Bullying Prevention Month is not new. In fact, it has been around for several years. What started as an awareness week initiated by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center in October 2006, the event has evolved into a month’s worth of events and activities to raise awareness and provide the latest resources to those who need it. National partners in 2006 included the National Education Association, National PTA, American Federation for Teachers, and National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education. PACER recognized that students, parents, and people throughout the country needed to become more aware of the serious consequences of bullying. The point of National Bullying Prevention Month was to transform a society that accepts bullying into a society that recognizes that bullying must – and can – be addressed through education and support.
Over the past several years, the event has grown in awareness and reach. “It has grown beyond our expectations,” says Paula F. Goldberg, PACER’s executive director. “It has become a major event.” National Bullying Prevention Month is now recognized in communities across the United States, with hundreds of schools and organizations signing on as partners with PACER.
Unity Day, on October 10, is a time when people across the country will wear orange as a show of support for students who have been bullied. Ellen DeGeneres wore orange on her TV show during last year’s Unity Day. In addition, the Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying event on October 6, encourages communities to stage events to show support against bullying. This year, organizations from Las Vegas, Nevada to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and from Jonesboro, Arkansas to San Diego, California are staging these events to raise awareness in their communities.
This year, Bullying Prevention Month features many new initiatives. For example, PACER is releasing several new toolkits and public service announcements at PACER.org/Bullying.. Other organizations, such as the NEA, DoSomething.org, the Bully Project, Stomp Out Bullying, and Hey U.G.L.Y. will all hold events or make announcements this month. And, our “Be More Than a Bystander” campaign with the Ad Council will officially launch.
With all of these new resources and attention, it is a great time to consider how you can help raise awareness about bullying and take action to stop it. Tell us what you are going to do by engaging on Facebook and Twitter.