October 18, 2018
This month we observe National Bullying Prevention Month. The Utah Attorney General’s Office urges Utahns to choose kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.
Bullying impacts children of all ages. According to the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics, up to a third of students in the United States report being bullied at school. Additionally, in an increasingly digital age, cyberbullying has become a significant problem.
Bullying can have long-lasting, detrimental effects on a child’s mental and physical health. A child who is bullied is more likely to experience depression and anxiety, decreased academic achievement, substance abuse, and suicide.
Bullying prevention starts with you. Be kind to others and be proactive in shifting the prevalence of bullying in our schools and communities. Bullying is a behavioral style which must be – and can be – addressed through education and support.
Encourage children to speak to a trusted adult if they are bullied or see others being bullied. Teach children to stand appropriately to kids who are bullying others. Most importantly, teach kindness and urge children to reach out to others who are being bullied.
Below are some additional resources to help prevent bullying:
Download the SafeUT App. This app, which the AG’s Office helped create, is available to students and parents and provides real-time help to youth through texting and a private space to submit tips about bullies in their schools.
Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition is a local non-profit that provides training for students, parents, and educators. Their goal is to end bullying through kindness.
Utah Parent Center provides information and resources to help parents better understand bullying, its impact, and strategies for prevention.
Utah Legislation specifically addresses bullying in the state as well as requirements to educators about their role in creating bully-free environments.
If you see something, say something. Be kind and be part of the change. Preventing bullying starts with you.