Every year, the Laurel Springs community teams up to show our support of National Bullying Prevention Month, a campaign started in 2006 by PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights).
Bullying is an issue that affects more than one out of five students in the US. It’s estimated that approximately 35% of students across the country are victims of bullying, while 15% suffer from cyberbullying each year. The good news is that over half of all bullying incidents (57%) come to a halt after a peer stands up for the victim. This means that when students unite in taking a stand against bullying, they have the power to make an enormous impact on the issue.
How to Identify Bullying vs. Conflict
Bullying behavior can sometimes be mistaken for conflict and vice versa, however, they are very different. The best way to decipher between conflict and bullying, according to PACER, is to examine whether or not the two parties involved have equal power, and if the conflict ends once it’s realized that someone involved is getting hurt. Conflict is a normal part of relationships–—involving two or more people who have differing views who want to make their points known. Bullying is typically done with the intent of harming or humiliating another person, and the person doing the bullying typically holds more power from being older, stronger, bigger or more popular.
What You Can Do
To show our continued support, our school community will be taking part in National Bullying Prevention Month once again this year by participating in events related to Unity Day from Monday, October 21st through Friday, October 25th. This week of events is centered around Unity Day, which takes place on Wednesday, October 23rd. This special day focuses on uniting students and school faculty in raising awareness about bullying while supporting and empowering our online community to take an active role in anti-bullying initiatives.
“Orange provides a powerful, visually compelling expression of solidarity. Whether it’s hundreds of individuals at a school wearing orange, store owners offering orange products, or a community changing a landmark to orange, the vibrant statement becomes a conversation starter, sending the supportive, universal message that bullying is never acceptable behavior.”
– Paula Goldberg, Executive Director of PACER Center
We encourage everyone to join us by participating in special Laurel Springs events planned to celebrate Unity Day this week:
Tuesday, October 22nd
The School Counseling Department invites students in grades 6-12 to participate in a virtual get-together at 3pm ET / 12pm PT to discuss unity and promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion throughout the global community of Laurel Springs School. Students in grades 6-12, please check your email for an invitation to join this live event!
Wednesday, October 23rd—Unity Day
We invite you to color our online world in orange! Wear orange in honor of Unity Day while holding up signs with words of kindness and respect. Join the Laurel Springs community as we show the world that we stand together against bullying – united for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.
We encourage you to share your photos with our community! Be sure to tag Laurel Springs School in your social media photos, along with #UnityDay2019 and #LSSConnect and email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, check out our Laurel Springs’ social media pages for pictures of your peers, faculty, and staff!
Thursday, October 24th
Participate in spreading Random Acts of Kindness with your peers on LSS Connect. The ideas shared can be carried over into your communities.
For students in grades 7-12, log in to LSS Connect to help spread unity virtually amongst your peers! If you aren’t already a part of this private Laurel Springs social community, please email email@example.com to gain access.
Friday, October 25th
Today, we are recording a live Podcast to document stories, poems, and experiences shared by your peers related to National Bullying Prevention Month and Unity Day. The podcast recording will then be sent out next week to all of our socially active students or you may also request a copy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are an Upper School student (grades 9-12), you can request to be part of the live audience here.
For students in grades 6-8: Share your thoughts on anti-bullying and the importance of unity by commenting on our online bulletin board designed especially for Laurel Springs’ students. To share appropriate words or images, please check your email for messages from the social community or counseling department to get access.