Be An Upstander!

Since October is National Bullying Prevention Month, this is a sensible time to talk about a social issue that impacts many kids and their ability to reach their full potential. Whether bullying is physical, verbal or online, those who are bullied can suffer negative effects including depression, poor performance in school, physical illness and increased risk for suicide.

Everyone involved with young people can help prevent this damaging behavior. One way you can do this is by becoming an “upstander”—someone who recognizes when bullying is happening and safely works to stop it.

Promoting positive behaviors like being an upstander can be part of the solution to bullying. At the Y, modeling positive behaviors is foundational to everything we do. Our core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility form the roots of our work, helping young people become the changemakers our communities need to become stronger.

Ways You Can Help Prevent Bullying

Any caring adult—parents, school staff, child care workers and others—can help prevent bullying incidents. This is what you can do, according to StopBullying.gov Opens a new window:

  • Help kids understand bullying. Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Tell kids bullying is unacceptable. Make sure kids know how to get help.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with kids often. Listen to them. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns.
  • Encourage kids to do what they love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behavior.
  • Model how to treat others with kindness and respect.

The Tyler Clementi Foundation also has a number of ways individuals and entire communities can prevent bullying, such as the Million Upstander Movement Opens a new window and the #Day1 campaign Opens a new window.

Bullying Statistics

  • 28% of U.S. students in grades 6–12 have experienced bullying.
  • 20% of U.S. students in grades 9–12 have experienced bullying.
  • 9% of students in grades 6–12 experienced cyberbullying.
  • 15% of high school students (grades 9–12) were electronically bullied in the past year.
  • 55.2% of LGBTQ students experienced cyberbullying.
  • 30% of young people admit to bullying others in surveys.
  • 70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools.
  • 70.4% of school staff have seen bullying.
  • 62% witnessed bullying two or more times in the last month and 41% witness bullying once a week or more.

Source: Tyler Clementi Foundation

For more statistics and research, go to StopBullying.gov Opens a new window.

Learn how to support victims of bullying by visiting ymca.net/membernews

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