October is "National Prevent Bullying Month" and October 9th is billed as "Unite Against Bullying Day." To raise awareness, many people will be wearing orange to support the "Make it Orange and Make it End" movement.
Dr. Tatiana Falcone is a child psychologist at Cleveland Clinic Children's. She says we're more aware about the problem of bullying, but still have a long way to go.
"Schools are more sensitive to listening to all of the issues that are happening, but sometimes it takes a lot of times before parents or the school knows about what's happening," she said.
Falcone says bullying can be emotional as well as physical. She says it's pervasive, typically lasting more than 6 months. Kids who are bullied may suffer from anxiety and depression, so Falcone suggests parents look for the signs.
"They're having issues to go to sleep at night or you see any change in their behavior," explained Falcone. "I think it's very important to try to address it and see."
Falcone says it's important parents empower their children with the confidence to speak up if they, or someone they know, is being bullied.
"Making your child very confident on what is right and what is wrong and to report when they are exposed to things that they feel are not right either to the teacher, to a parent, or their coach," she said.
National Bullying Prevention Month is recognized in communities across the United States. Hundreds of schools and organizations are expected to take part.
County bullying policies:
- Alachua County (Click on 5000 and go to 5517.01 for Bullying and Harassment)
- Baker County
- Bradford County
- Clay County
- Columbia County
- Duval County
- Flagler County (Under tab titled "Policies," click on "School Board Policy Manual," select "Chapter 5: Students," Policy 511.2, "Bullying and Harassment.")
- Marion County
- Nassau County
- Putnam County
- St. Johns County
More helpful links:
- Read more about Unite Against Bullying Day
- Read about Florida's anti-bullying laws & policy
- Read information and facts about bullying
- Florida information on StopBullying.gov
Helpful phone numbers:
- Need help? Call the Stop Bullying Foundation LIFELINE at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Duval County Schools has a bullying hotline: 390-CALL (2255)