October is National Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time when communities unite to raise awareness of bullying prevention.  Bullying is physical, verbal or emotional harm or intimidation intentionally directed at a person or group of people and in the past often happened in neighborhoods, playgrounds and at school. Today, bullying often occurs through technology, such as on social media and cell phones.

Unfortunately, one in every four students experiences bullying and nearly all students will witness bullying during their years in school.

That is why in October 2014, the City of Orlando launched Stand Up Orlando to publicly demonstrate its commitment to bullying prevention and to ensure Orlando continues to be a place of belonging, acceptance and respect for all people.

If you’re a parent and suspect your child may be the victim of bullying, here are seven tips you can use to begin a conversation about bullying with your child.

  • Never tell your child to ignore bullying behavior.
  • Tell him or her that bullying is wrong, that it is not his or her fault, and that you are glad he or she had the courage to tell you about it.
  • Contact a teacher, school counselor or principal at your school immediately and share your concerns about the bullying that your child has experienced. Use as much specific information/evidence as possible to help the school investigate.
  • Check your emotions. A parent’s protective instincts stir strong emotions. Although it is difficult, step back and consider the next steps carefully.
  • Do not encourage physical retaliation.
  • Encourage your child to make contact with friendly students in his or her class, or encourage your child to do the things they love.
  • Check-in regularly with your child to ensure that the bullying has stopped.

If you’re interested in learning more, please visit Stand Up Orlando partner websites Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center and Zebra Coalition to find additional resources for students and parents.