October is Bullying Awareness Month


Caleb Buford, Messenger Reporter & Business Manager

When thinking about the month of October, most people start reflect on the thought of the beginning of Fall, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and Halloween. While October is a great season of relaxation and fun, October is a big month for a never-ending cause; bullying. Violence Prevention Works states, “A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.” This kind of abuse can occur in four main ways; physically (pushing, punching, etc.), psychological (intimidation, manipulation, etc.), verbal (name-calling, rude remarks, etc.) and cyber (mean comments, posting rumors, etc.). Any form of bullying can cause victims to feel powerless and ashamed of who they are because of the negativity that surrounds them by their abusers. Bullying can cause victims to experience depression, anxiety, emotional trauma, and thoughts of suicide.  With 3.2 million students being bullied each year (DoSomething.org), we must find a way to help those in this crisis and show that we stand with them. October is the official month of Bullying awareness and has a variety of opportunities to get involved.

Blue Shirt Day

Created by STOMP Out Bullying, Blue Shirt Day is a day of remembrance and advocacy for Bullying. On October 2nd, 2017, people around the nation will wore blue shirts to show their support of “stomping out” bullying. STOMP Out Bullying is selling official Blue Shirt Day shirts that say, “Change the Culture” across the front. These shirts are on sale online and in Hollister stores across the nation. 

Unity Day 2017

Created by the PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, Unity Day is very similar to Blue Shirt Day. On October 25th, 2017, schools and community organizations will wear orange to show their solidarity about the idea that bullying needs to end. Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, stated. “By joining together and wearing orange on Unity Day, we can send the unified message that we care about student’s physical and emotional health and that bullying will no longer be accepted in this society.” The great thing about this program is that it’s not specific to wearing an orange shirt, you can wear anything orange; orange necklaces, orange bandanas, or even painting your nails orange! You can share your support online using their hashtag, #UnityDay2017. Also, if want to show your support even more, you can learn the choreography to their song, “You Can’t Take That Away From Me” and post your video online!

Stand Up!

Sometimes, we forget about these events but we still want to show our support. Well, no one said you can only show your support on those days! If you see someone being bullied, stand up for them. Though it can be hard to tell someone to stop an action, if we want bullying to end, we need to learn that this is the best solution. Don’t be mean about it, but simply make eye contact with the abuser and say something like, “If you can’t be nice, don’t say or do anything.”

Bullying is something we can all put a stop to if we simply try to avoid being mean to others and standing up to those who are. Ending bullying starts with you, and with that thought process, we can start an end to this form of harassment.