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National Bullying Prevention Month: How to Prevent and Respond to Bullying

Depressed teenage girl sitting alone at home, head in hands
(Image credit: iStock/monkeybusinessimages)

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a campaign founded by PACER to eradicate bullying across the country. According to statistics, 37% of children report having been bullied, but only 31% of this number reported it to an adult. The non-profit organization Waterford.org offers ways for parents and teachers to respond to and prevent this behavior.

How to prevent bullying

  • Teach emotional intelligence: Teach children how to recognize different emotions or what to do when they are sad or angry. That way, when they feel overwhelmed, they learn to react in healthy ways instead of bullying.
  • Address the Trauma: Bullies are more likely to have had traumatic experiences earlier in life that may factor into why they act inappropriately. Connect children who have experienced trauma to counseling resource.

How to address bullying

  • Look for warning signs: If you believe a child is being bullied, talk to them in private. Some children may feel uncomfortable asking for help, so you can let them know they can come to you.
  • Inform parents: If you are not the child’s parent, contact the parents of both the bully and bullied students. You can also contact school leaders (such as a school principal). 

How to Prevent Cyberbullying

  • Identify cyberbullying: harassment through phone calls, texts, or online messages, online impersonation, hacking into accounts.
  • Teach online safety: Show students how to keep their accounts and messages private, as well as how to block or report bullies. 

Waterford.org is a nonprofit organization that seeks to form community, school, and home programs that deliver excellence and equity for all learners.