October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Do your part to unite against bullying.
As per PACER’S National Bullying Prevention Center, National Bullying Prevention Month is a campaign they founded in the United States founded in 2006. The campaign is held during the month of October and unites communities nationwide to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. Traditionally held the first week in October, the event was expanded in 2010 to include activities, education, and awareness building for the entire month. National Bullying Prevention Month is recognized in communities across the United States, with hundreds of schools and organizations signing on as partners. Facebook, Disney, CNN and Yahoo! Kids have supported the month through media outreach and dissemination.
PACER’S National Bullying Prevention Center indicates that assigning a uniform definition to what constitutes bullying isn’t always easy.
“At first glance, it might appear that this behavior is easy to define. A common image of bullying might be of a physically intimidating boy beating up a smaller classmate or of one child shoving another inside a hallway locker. While that is still considered bullying, it’s important to know that bullying behaviors can be much more complex and varied than historical stereotypes.
For example, while some bullying is physical and easy to recognize, bullying can also occur quietly and covertly, through gossip or on a smart phone or the Internet, causing emotional damage.
As a starting point, there are elements that are included in most definitions of bullying. Although definitions vary from source to source, most agree that an act is defined as bullying when:
- The behavior hurts, humiliates, or harms another person physically or emotionally.
- Those targeted by the behavior have difficulty stopping the action directed at them, and struggle to defend themselves.
- There is also a real or perceived “imbalance of power,” which is described as when the student with the bullying behavior has more “power,” either physically, socially, or emotionally, such as a higher social status, or is physically larger or emotionally intimidating.
Repetitive behavior; however, bullying can occur in a single incident if that incident is either very severe or arises from a pattern of behavior.”
Sadly, research indicates that there are several risk factors for who may be bullied, such as members of the LGBT community, individuals with disabilities, and the socially isolated.
Adoption STAR is proud to have a proven track record of advocacy for LGBT youth and families, as well as children with disabilities. We stood side by side with clients who fought for marriage equality in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. We continually hold our “Shining Star” fundraisers to remove financial barriers for adoptive families that are open to adopting a child with special needs. We’re proud of this work, and we’re committed to continuing it!