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Let’s Talk About National Bullying Prevention Month!

I’d like to tell you that bullying is a new phenomenon, but history and folklore would disagree. Believe it or not, Cinderella is not a story that originated in a 1950’s Disney movie. This story is a folk tale representing elements of cruel & unjust oppression followed by triumph. Cinderella is a young woman living in bleak circumstances, constantly being harassed by family before achieving extraordinarily great fortune. The ancient story of Rhodopis, which dates back around 7 BC and AD 23, is usually considered to be the first variant of the Cinderella story. The word Cinderella has come to symbolize one whose attributes were unrecognized, one who was shunned by those with power; one who unexpectedly achieves recognition or success. Cinderella and Rhodopis share various traits … both were victims of aggressors, targets of bullying, found means to overcome, and both stories go back hundreds of years.

In present times victims do not have Cinderella’s fairy godmother “to right their wrongs”. Yet there are still bullying stories being written and victims in need of tools and means to overcome. I will take the next few weeks to share information on the topic of bullying to help readers gain knowledge of ways to manage, cope and overcome situations involving bullying.

Let’s start with informing you of a fact that you may not know, October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Yes, there is a National Bullying Prevention Month, but what is it and why? Everyday thousands of young people experience bullying from their peers, in neighborhoods, at school, home, in person or using electronic communication. These victims often need help and the issue requires recognition. National Bullying Prevention Month is a campaign in the United States founded in 2006 by an organization known as PACER, through PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. The campaign is held during the month of October and its purpose is educate, unite communities and raise awareness of bullying prevention.

PACER developed the initial campaign, National Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week, to raise awareness about bullying. Historically, bullying had been viewed as “a childhood rite of passage” that “made kids tougher,” but the reality has always been that bullying can leave devastating and often long-term effects. National Bullying Prevention Month is now a nationwide call to action around educating communities as to their roles in bullying prevention. This initiative has helped shift thinking away from bullying as “rite of passage” and toward the knowledge that bullying can be prevented and “must be” stopped through education and awareness.

Here are some helpful bullying statistics which were collected by various organizations, including www.stopbulling.gov

  • About 20% of students ages 12-18 experienced bullying nationwide.
  • Nationwide, 19% of students in grades 9–12 report being bullied on school property in the 12 months prior to the survey.
  • Approximately 46% of students ages 12-18 who were bullied during the school year notified an adult at school about the bullying.
  • Among students ages 12-18 who reported being bullied at school during the school year, 15 % were bullied online or by text.
  • An estimated 14.9% of high school students were electronically bullied in the 12 months prior to the survey.

Bullying is something we must continue to globally combat, and sometimes that takes a hero/heroin. “Because a society is measured by how it treats the weak and vulnerable, we must strive to build a culture of life,” – George W. Bush. I’d like to tell you that bullying is a new phenomenon, but instead I will tell you that bullying is a problem which we have tools and means to overcome. Join us at Crime Stoppers of Houston as we take an eight week blog journey through the multifaceted subject of bullying.

Posted by Jammy Kiggundu, Attorney, Social Advocate and Cyberbullying Expert on 1 Oct 2020