Did you know that over 160,000 kids stay home from school each day to avoid bullies? Can you imagine the impact that fear has on their educational process? What can we do about it?
If bullying is something that you never really considered, you should now. October is National Bullying Prevention Month. People around the country are taking a stand for our children, in hopes of combating the problem.
Bullying is a problem that we’re all aware of. We all know that bullying exists, but how often do we confront it? If it doesn’t currently affect your children you may not think much about it, but now is an excellent time to bring it up. National Bullying Prevention Month gives you a great opportunity to introduce several talking points to your children on the topic.
These topics include:
- What is bullying?
- Why is bullying is a big deal?
- Have they been or are they being bullied?
- Do they see bullying around them in school?
- Do they know what cyberbullying is?
Bullying may be more common than you think:
- The 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) indicates that, nationwide, 20% of students in grades 9–12 experienced bullying.
- The 2008–2009 School Crime Supplement (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that, nationwide, 28% of students in grades 6–12 experienced bullying.
It’s even possible that your own child could be the bully. Children often don’t even realize that they are exhibiting bully behavior. As parents, this further proves why it’s important for us to know the signs of bullying behavior, and act immediately when we see it.
We have to empower our kids through continual conversation and communication that bullying is not OK. We also have to make them believers that if they come to us with these types of problems we’ll take action immediately. We cannot sit back and minimize the effect that bullying may have on their lives, because it didn’t effect ours. We have to engage with teachers to find out what’s going on in the schools. If teachers don’t give you the information that you need, you should be prepared to escalate matters to up the school system chain of command. We are our children’s biggest advocates, and we can’t affort to let another child miss school, slip into depression, or even worse die at the hands of bullying.
In a personal effort to raise awareness about bullying I’ve partnered with rapper/actor Tray Chaney (HBO’s The Wire) to shoot and direct his new music video titled, Mike Bully (Stand Up For Our Future). You can support the effort by viewing and sharing the video below. After you’ve seen the video you can join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #MikeBully.
Have you or your kids ever been bullied? How did you handle it? How can we put an end to bullying, or is it impossible?
Read more from us at our award-winning website BlackandMarriedWithKids.com.
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