October is National Bully Prevention Awareness Month, and, if you are anything like me, you probably experienced some sort of bullying as a kid. As an awkward pre-teen, I got made fun of because of my hair, my size, the color of my skin and it still hurts to think about some of the cruel words tossed so carelessly my way. Maybe you got pushed around or called names, abused because of race, gender, weight, ability, clothing, or something else when you were in school. Online, bullying takes the form of doxxing, the publishing of private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent, or trolling, making a deliberately offensive or provocative online post with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them. Regardless of the way it’s done, bullying is WRONG and, if there’s one thing I try to instill in my daughter, it’s not only that she should treat others with respect, but also protect those who cannot protect themselves. While it isn’t easy to stand up for what you believe in, empathy and kindness are character traits of the innovators that I hope will one day save the planet. In a time when it seems even our world leaders feel empowered to bully those who are weak and in need of assistance, I encourage you to stand up for what is right and stop bullying in it’s tracks.
Below are 20 ways to stop bullying, taken from stompoutbullying.com. While the list is meant for kids, if you’re in fandom, you know that bullying happens all the time. Here are some ways you can help.
20 ways kids can help stomp out bullying:
According to Stomp Out Bullying, kids can have an enormous impact on the bullying crisis. Whether they know the person being bullied or not, kids can stop standing by and STAND UP! To safely support a victim:
2.Don’t encourage the bully in any way
3.Stay at a safe distance and help the target get away
4.Don’t become an “audience” for the bully
5.Reach out in friendship to a bullying victim
6.Help the victim in any way you can
7.Support the victim in private
8.If you notice someone being isolated from others, invite them to join you
9.Include the victim in some of your activities
10.Tell an adult if you see bullying or are bullied
11.Encourage your school to participate in Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention
12.Start a peer mentoring group at school
13.Raise awareness of bullying and cyberbullying prevention in your community
14.Teach friends about being tolerant
15.Ask your school to set up a private ballot box where kids who are being bullied can report it anonymously
16.Get someone to sponsor a conflict resolution team
17.Encourage school administrators to adopt Internet-use policies that address online hate, harassment, and pornography.
18.Create events in your school and community to raise anti-bullying Bullying Preventionawareness
19.Create bullying and cyberbullying prevention posters
20.Stand up and do something when you hear someone making jokes or comments about: Someone’s sexual identity, someone’s family member, someone’s weight, someone’s choice of dress, someone’s skin color, someone’s accent, or someone’s disability