The topic of bullying is one that has gotten more and more attention in the last few years. In the past, bullying was–at best–simply overlooked as a “rite of passage” for children as they make their way through the school years. Now, of course, the drastic effects of bullying are more fully understood. Parents, teachers, and the community have all begin speaking up to bring an end to the teasing, hazing, and worse that happens on our school grounds.
In 2006, National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week was introduced, and in 2010, it was extended as October was named National Bullying Prevention Month. Last year, Unity Day was added in as a specific day for focusing attention on the cause. People across the nation are encouraged to wear orange as a show of support for those who have been bullied and to mark their commitment to preventing bullying in their communities.
With the slogan “Make It Orange and Make It End!” this year’s Unity Day will be held on Wednesday, October 10th.
The concept was started by PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights), an organization that works to enhance the quality of life of those with disabilities. The movement, however, has grown to include far more than those in the special needs community. This has led to the development of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.
PACER offers a ton of resources for schools, teachers, organizations, etc. that would like to be a part of bullying Prevention Month. They even have classroom toolkits that teachers can use to bring these topics up in effective ways with their own students. Toolkits are even broken down into age-appropriate levels starting with “early learners” and going up through middle and high school. One of their suggested events is to hold a digital petition signing event at school, as well as hold a Unity Dance.
Because cyber bullying is also such a concern, companies like Yahoo! and Facebook have gotten involved in the effort as well. Everyone is encouraged to use their social media accounts to further the cause, share stories and resources, etc. throughout the month of October.