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October is National Bullying Prevention Month

STOMP Out Bullying™ is the national organization responsible for National Bullying Prevention Month. The goal of the annual campaign is to “encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyber-bullying by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children of all ages.”

It’s important to bring awareness to bullying for many reasons. Victims of bullying experience feelings of fear, depression, loneliness, anxiety, low self confidence, depression, and suicidal thoughts or actions. Bullies themselves are more likely than their peers to miss school, drop out, abuse substances, get into fights and be arrested.

Bullying occurs when someone hurts or scares another person repeatedly. It is always intentional and never appropriate. It might seem like bullying should be easy to spot and deal with, but oftentimes, it’s not that clear cut. The following are definitions of the many different forms of bullying.

Types of Bullying

  • Physical – This is the most straight forward form of bullying. It includes inflicting physical harm or threatening to do so.
  • Verbal – This form of bullying includes name calling, telling lies, spreading rumors or consistent teasing.
  • Emotional – This form includes intimidation tactics and exclusion.
  • Racist – This type of bullying includes any form of intimidation that is racially based. For example, making racist comments, using racist slurs, mocking customs or traditions, etc.
  • Hazing – According to HazingPrevention.org, hazing is “any action taken or any situation created intentionally that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule and risks emotional and/or physical harm to members of a group or team, whether new or not, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.”
  • Sexual – Includes any unwanted physical contact, comments or suggestions.
  • Cyber – Using electronic means of communication to torment, threaten, harass, humiliate, embarrass or target another person.

What can you do if your child is the bully or a victim of bullying? Speak up and don’t sweep it under the rug. Whether you are on one side of the fence or the other, your child needs help. Parents need to step in and get involved, and put an end to the abuse. Talk to your schools guidance counselor, principal, teachers and even the other parents.