PEORIA, Ill. — The Month of October is National Bullying Prevention Month, meant to educate and raise awareness on ways to prevent bullying.
“Bullying prevention month is really an attempt to shift the focus from thinking bullying is a right of passage to children to really empowering people to know they can do something about bullying,” said Center for Prevention of Abuse Director Laura Kowalske.
Studies show 1 in 5 students have reported being bullied.
bullying is a form of abuse and can be defined through the acronym: ‘H. O. U. R.’ standing for: Hurtful, One-Sided, Unfair, Repeated.
“Just saying some comment can actually really destroy someone on top of some already dark stuff they might be going through on their own,” Founder of Keegan’s Krew Kelly Beal said.
There are many strategies parents can use to help prevent their kids from being bullied.
“Help their children be more resilient when it comes to bullying behavior, teach assertiveness, assertive really mean competence,” said Kowalske. “Help students or their children manage their emotions if we can manage our own emotions, if we can read someone else’s emotions that helps with our relationships.”
Other kids can also help stop bullying, as bystanders play a huge part on how a particular bullying situation will progress.
“In more than half of the cases where bullying occurs and a bystander is present that bullying will stop on average in 10 seconds,” Kowalske said.
Bullying has changed over the years since the age of Social Media. Social Media enables students to be bullied, even when they are not at school.
“At worst maybe getting like a prank phone call when you were a kid my age and now you can have 50 people at one time through social media 24 hours a day seven days a week.”
The full bullying prevention toolkit can be found at centerforprevention.org.