AS SCHOOL STARTS SO DOES BULLYING
LOVE OUR CHILDREN USA’s Campaign to
STOMP Out Bullying Kicks Off National Bullying Prevention Week with National Blue Shirt Day on Monday, October 5th
NEW YORK, August 24, 2009 Love Our Children USA announced today that National Blue Shirt Day will be held on Monday, October 5th to kick off National Bullying Prevention Week, which runs from October 4th through October 10th. Bullying and teasing is at the top of kids’ issues at schools, and with school set to open soon, parents, teachers and school administrators must take caution and sensitivity in handling these issues.
Childhood should be a time filled with wonder and joy, but the reality for many kids and teens it is often much different. They're the victims of bullying and cyber-bullying at school or on neighborhood playgrounds.
As part of it’s commitment to National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week, key members of Love Our Children USA will speak at various schools about bullying, cyberbullying and how children and adults can work to prevent it.
To signify the importance of the week, Love Our Children USA created National Blue Shirt Day. Specifically on Monday, October 5th, the organization is asking kids, teens and adults to participate in national BLUE SHIRT DAY by wearing a blue shirt to STOMP Out Bullying.
The color blue was chosen specifically because in many diverse cultures blue brings peace, importance and confidence. Participation in the event is expected from major cities and proclamations from leading politicians and civic leaders. National Blue Shirt Day will be supported with a national media campaign.
The STOMP Out Bullying campaign was created in October 2008, and to date over 48,000 people have committed to STOMP Out Bullying.
“Kids who are intimidated, threatened, or harmed by bullies often experience low self-esteem and depression, whereas those doing the bullying may go on to engage in more serious antisocial behaviors. Some kids are so traumatized by being bullied, that they contemplate suicide. Bullies often have been the victims of bullying or other mistreatment themselves.,” said Ross Ellis, Love Our Children USA Founder and Chief Executive Officer, who remembers only too well what it is like to be bullied. “Today bullying is a regular occurrence in schools starting as early as kindergarten. It’s not a right of passage as some may think. It’s a crisis. And many kids have committed suicide because the taunting was so torturous.”
“Bullying can be so painful and clearly has played a role in recent school shootings across the country. While boys are more physical, girls use weapons, exclusion, slander, rumors and gossip. And beware of cyberbullying which is on the rise. This social online cruelty is used in the forms of e-mail, cell phone; pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal Web sites, and defamatory online personal polling Web sites, deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior, and is used by an individual or group -- intended to harm others – especially amongst our youth,” Ellis continued.
While most kids use the Internet for friendly interactions, more and more kids are using these communication tools to antagonize, terrorize and intimidate others.
Parents must keep open communication with their children. Look for signs. And school administrators can no longer sweep the issue under the rug. Students should be educated about the harmful effects of bullying. Many schools are sweeping the issue under the rug. Every school should declare No Bullying Policy and enforce it.
Ross Ellis suggests that schools set up a web site where kids can anonymously report the person who is bullying them. That way victims can feel safe in making the report and the school can deal with the bully.
Recent Statistics Show:
• 1 out of 4 kids is Bullied.
• 1 out of 5 kids admits to being a bully, or doing some "Bullying."
• 8% of students miss 1 day of class per month for fear of Bullies.
• 43% fear harassment in the bathroom at school.
• 100,000 students carry a gun to school.
• 28% of youths who carry weapons have witnessed violence at home.
• A poll of teens ages 12-17 proved that they think violence increased at their schools.
• 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.
• More youth violence occurs on school grounds as opposed to on the way to school.
• 80% of the time, an argument with a bully will end up in a physical fight.
• 1/3 of students surveyed said they heard another student threaten to kill someone.
• 1 out of 5 teens knows someone who brings a gun to school.
• 2 out of 3 say they know how to make a bomb, or know where to get the information to do it.
• Almost half of all students say they know another student who's capable of murder.
• Playground statistics - Every 7 minutes a child is bullied. Adult intervention -4% Peer intervention - 11%. No intervention - 85%.
Ellis said “helping your children cope with either being a bully or being a victim often requires outside assistance, such as from your child's school or the community. School is the most likely place for bullying to occur, so discuss your concerns with your child's teachers and counselor and ask what they can do to help. School personnel can be influential in helping a child modify his behavior. Take advantage of any psychological counseling services that may be offered at your child's school or in your community.”
Bullying is a form of child abuse and bullies are very likely to grow up as an adult who abuses children.
More information about bullying and how to help your children and students can be found at www.stompoutbullying.org