National Bullying Prevention Month is a campaign created to combat aggressive and cruel behavior, whether it be in person or online, also known as cyberbullying.
The main focus of this campaign is to show that bullying can occur to people of all ages, cultural backgrounds or financial situations, in order to emphasize respect and inclusion to everyone across the world.
Being bullied is scary and can become dangerous, making someone feel isolated or helpless to stop it. A bully's goal is to take power away from their targets, so they can feel better about themselves. Anyone can be affected, so it is important to know the signs that someone is being bullied.
There are many ways to recognize and fight against bullying:
- Try to stay calm
- Tell friends, family members, and other people of authority when needed
- Say nothing, walk away or run if necessary
- Do not engage in conflict
- Take a screenshot if it is cyberbullying in order to report it
- Avoid problematic areas and travel with people, as there is safety in numbers
- Be confident; brush it off with humor if possible
- Do not give in to peer pressure and become a bully in retaliation
- Recognize signs of depression, poor concentration, sleeping issues or problems in school
Even though the National Bullying campaign goes beyond the month of October, Kean University's Student Organization P.U.L.S.E Programming will be hosting a Bullying Prevention event on Oct. 21 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., in person, at the Miron Student Center basketball courts. This event will broaden students' understanding of bullying and the forms it takes, and ways to prevent it, in a series of simulated real-life scenarios. To register for this event, students can visit Student Organization on Cougar Link.
All participants will be required to register and wear face coverings while maintaining social distancing. They must also have #CampusClear, which can be downloaded for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Oct. 21 is also World Unity Day. To celebrate, many wear the color orange as a supportive measure to raise awareness about bullying. The color indicates a kinder, more inclusive, and accepting world, but can be worn at different times of the year to support the movement. Wearing orange is a message of support and the hope that no one should go through bullying.
It is important to not be afraid and to speak up for those in need. Stand up for what is right even if standing alone. Be aware, be kind, support others. Spoken words cannot be erased. Don't blurt what might hurt. Stand up to bullying and continue to educate to make the world welcoming of all people.