Starting a new school year can be a very exciting time for students. Taking new classes, reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones, and engaging in new experiences, like trying out for the team, auditioning for the school play, and going to school dances are things many kids look forward to. But school can also be a scary and lonely place, where many children unfortunately are the targets of bullying.
Growing up, I had issues with my weight. During the first semester of high school, while at a football game one Friday evening, I was verbally assaulted by a fellow student, whom I didn’t know. I did nothing to provoke the attack. I was standing near the field watching the game, when a girl made the decision to target me because of my weight. I was humiliated in front of a crowd of people, and many of the other students in attendance responded with laughter. No one did anything to help me, and I walked away with my head down feeling ashamed. Twenty years later, it’s a memory that still has an impact on my life at times.
Bullying is unacceptable, whether it happens once or many times, in person or online. No child should have to feel like they are not good enough the way they are.
While bullying continues to occur, fortunately there are many more resources that exist today that address this social problem. A quick internet search unveils a plethora of multimedia tools that can be used to start a conversation with children. Used in the classroom or at home, I hope the following selection will help spark a “Do Something” attitude that may, in the very least, help one less child become a victim this school year.
Classroom Toolkits: Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center
Animated Poem: “To This Day” by Shane Koyczan
Social Media Gallery: Mean Stinks Gang Up For Good
First Person Stories: Teens Against Bullying
Games: Kids Against Bullying
School Programs: Challenge Day
Images and Infographics: Stop Bullying
Anti-Bullying Resource Links: