According to the National Association of School Psychologists, bullying is the most common form of violence in our society. In a national survey of students in grades six through ten, 13% reported bullying others, 11% reported being a victim of bullies, and another 6% said that they both bullied others and were bullied themselves. These numbers mean that over six million children are affected by bullying.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." Remember that little ditty? Izzy Kalman argues that common approaches to verbal bullying ("find a teacher or adult") are hampering kids abilities to learn to handle their own social situations, and reminds us that words only hurt us if we allow them to. In addition to the illustrated website, Kalman offers free guides for adults and kids in PDF. Look for them under the Resources tab.
"Bullying stops in less than 10 seconds, most of the time, when peers intervene on behalf of the victim. Intervene does NOT mean taking on or trying to confront or fight the bully, but rather, befriending the victim, ignoring the bully, talking and walking away with the victim." This Canadian site urges kids to take a pledge to stick up for those being bullied, and supports their Peer Support Approach to Bullying with extensive FAQ's and downloadable PDFs.
"Texting, social sites, email, and IM -- this is how kids socialize. They tune in to find out who's dating who or what the math homework is. But kids can also use these tools to threaten, harass, or gang up on other kids." Common Sense Media provides tools for parents and educators of kids as young as two years old. For links to resources specifically for kids and teens, click through to the Cyberbullying Toolkit, and look for the Kids and Teens header.
Take the pledge and join other kids who pledge to "Speak up, reach out, and be a friend" when they see bullying. The message from PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center is that everyone (parents, teachers and kids) can help prevent bullying, and this interactive site shows kids how they help. Just click on the Spot, Stop, Share, Own and Play buttons at the top of the site. Parents and teachers can click through to the grownup site by clicking on the National Bullying Preventing Center logo at the bottom of any page.
"Take a stand. Lend a hand. Stop bullying now!" SBN (a production of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration) is my pick of the day because of the twelve animated webisodes. "Watch how bullying affects different characters, and how they learn to deal with it. Maybe they can help you too!" Other goodies are eleven interactive games, and a handful of downloadable PDF guides for teachers, parents and organizations wanting to mount a local anti-bullying campaign.