This month, schools across the country will be making an effort to raise awareness about bullying and teach kids how to treat one another with respect, tolerance, and compassion during October.

Part of raising awareness can include educating staff and students about what bullying is (and what it isn’t). Bullying definitions can vary, but generally include three key components:
• the behavior hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally
• it is one-sided and intentional
• the behavior is often repeated and continuous
There are countless resources available for schools, students, and families online. The PACER Center has an excellent one: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/. Wednesday, October 10, PACER is promoting Unity Day to unite people against bullying and to show support for those who’ve been bullied. Students and staff can participate by wearing orange on October 10. On their website you’ll find free posters you can download and print to promote Unity Day in your school. They also have websites about bullying for kids and teens. You might consider linking these to your school’s website.

PBIS Tip: Look for ways to raise awareness about bullying in your school and classroom this week. You might consider promoting Unity Day in your school. It could be an effective way to begin having conversations with students about what bullying is, and the power they have to stand up for one another. Bullying is an on-going problem that sometimes feels very difficult to solve; by raising awareness and uniting kids and adults against bullying, you’re taking an important first step to make a difference.

Do you know of someone who’s making a positive difference regarding bullying in your school? I’d love to hear about it and share with others!

Courtesy of Danielle Triplett, PBIS Coordinator Gresham-Barlow School District

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