October is National Bullying Prevention Month and the organization, PACER, through their National Bullying Prevention Center, has declared October 9 UNITY DAY. This post is dedicated to the efforts of PACER, which offers a chance for readers to put an end to bullying. Through education and awareness we can stop it in its tracks.
Story 1: Cruel classmates emotionally battered the young boy while ill-informed teachers looked on and did nothing. Busily stuffing pens and papers into his front breast shirt pocket, he packed up his books and burst out of the classroom to leave the noise behind.
The day had been long and he was tired of the daily struggle. Pushing his thick glasses up off the end of his nose, he sprang out of the school door while the students continued to taunt him. He didn't have time to notice the street sign directly in front of him. As he flew out the door, his body crashed into the sign, and he fell to the ground with his pens and papers flying into mid-air. The children laughed, calling him names while he picked himself up, gathered his belongings, and started the long trek home.
Story 2: The little girl stood alone on the edge of the playground during school recess. No one would play with her. She was beautiful and well-dressed, kind and gentle, funny and charming. But she learned differently. And because she learned differently the teachers and administration could not figure out how to teach to her. They lacked the proper skills and, instead of doing what was right, they did what was easy.
She went from being tutoring to being "pulled out " for subjects to being placed full-time in a separate classroom. She wasn't learning the "traditional" way, and the children began to ostracize her. The little girl was sad. She hated school. Her parents were inconsolable.
These are true stories. They are sad and unnecessary. And they are part of the bullying problem that needs to stop -- right now -- in the United States and around the world.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and for the fifth year PACER, through their National Bullying Prevention Center, has launched a "Bullying Ends With Me" campaign. They offer ways to inspire others to combat bullying by signing petitions, holding live events, and getting schools involved by taking pledges, offering morning announcements and providing classroom with toolkits.
"Last year, two million people in nearly 200 countries used the National Bullying Prevention Center's resources and web-based tools to plan events, activities, outreach, and educational initiatives. Bullying prevention tools and resources are available on three websites: PACER.org/Bullying for parents, teachers, and other adults;PACERTeensAgainstBullying.org for teens; andPACERKidsAgainstBullying.org for elementary school students. One of the most popular tools is "Unite Against Bullying: A Student Event Planning Guide" which PACER created with the support of Facebook." -- Paula Goldberg, Executive Director, PACER
PACER has also partnered with Green Giant to encourage parents to "Raise a Giant" to help children grow and thrive. Together, they seek to educate parents how to prevent, stop and cope with bullying by signing in to their "Raise a Giant" campaign. They believe that writing a letter to your child about showing courage in the face of bullying is important.
We want our children to grow strong both inside and out.
PACER provides other important campaigns to help spread awareness on how to stop bullying. Check their website to learn about the many ways you can become involved.
PACER has deemed this October 9 "Unity Day", and people around the country will join the movement by wearing orange to say, "Make It Orange and Make It End!"
In 2011, Ellen DeGeneres took the anti-bullying message to her television show, reminding viewers of the importance of ending bullying. This year, students across the country are becoming involved in continuing to spread the word about UNITY DAY.
You can become involved by "attending" and "sharing" the cause at the UNITY DAY FACEBOOK EVENT.
If you or your children have ever been bullied, or if you know anyone that has (or even if you don't but want to end bullying) please get involved in this important cause.
For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, let's do all we can to stop bullying now!
"P.S. One more thing... Be sure to watch ABC Family television this month for a very special announcement about National Bullying Prevention Month from Keegan Allen of the hit show "Pretty Little Liars." Disney is a great supporter of bullying prevention and we can't thank them enough." -- Paula Goldberg
Follow Cathy Chester on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@CathyChes