October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and for Arlington Public Schools, it’s a time to focus and raise awareness, both recognizing what bullying is and standing united against bullying behaviors. Bullying is:
- Unwanted, aggressive behavior;
- Involves a real or perceived power imbalance;
- Repeated over time and oftentimes the victim is unable to make it stop with their own efforts.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, attacking someone physically or verbally, spreading rumors, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Bullying can also take place through technology, known as cyberbullying. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
APS is united against bullying. Every fall, APS school counselors teach anti-bullying strategies through the use of the Second Step’s Social Emotional curriculum. This program teaches students the 3 R’s of bullying; Recognize, Refuse, and Report. APS School Counselors work with staff in every building to promote safe and supportive classrooms where every student is recognized for their individual strength and worth within each community. This year APS will celebrate Unity Day on Wed, Oct.19. Unity Day is a day to wear and share ‘orange’ to send a visible message that no child should ever experience bullying. Some ideas of how to participate:
- Wear Orange: A few ideas include tees, shoelaces, socks, sunglasses, wristbands, etc.
- Share Orange: Post images to social media, tag with #UnityEveryDay
- For more information on Unity Day, please visit https://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/unity-day.asp
For more information on bullying prevention in APS, please visit the APS Bullying Prevention website. Please reach out to your child’s School Counselor for any resources or assistance your child may need if they are experiencing any bullying behaviors. We hope you will encourage your child to stand up against bullying as a responsible, supportive community member.