October is National Bullying Prevention Month

We know that Maine schools are actively working to ensure they are providing a safe and inclusive community in which all educators and students feel supported and can thrive.  Bullying prevention takes a team effort, adult modeling and a commitment from the whole community. Educators, families, students and community members can work together to build safe, supportive learning environments for all Maine students.

National Bullying Prevention Month is the perfect time to talk about kindness, encourage and model inclusiveness, and review bullying prevention strategies. It is also a great time to ensure that any student experiencing bullying has a safe, effective way to access support from peers and trusted adults.

Here are some resources that may be of help in understanding, preventing, and addressing bullying in your community.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s comprehensive technical package on the prevention of violence and associated risk behaviors outlines effective prevention practices in 5 strategic areas:

  • Promoting family environments that support healthy development
  • Quality early childhood learning experiences with family engagement
  • Universal school based social emotional learning programs that strengthen youths’ skills
  • Programs and activities that connect youth to caring adults
  • Creating protective community environments

This resource also includes a section on interventions to lessen harm and prevent future risk.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)’s publication on social emotional learning and bullying prevention provides a detailed framework for addressing bullying as part of a school’s social emotional learning program.

Stomp Out Bullying is a comprehensive kid, teacher, and parent-friendly web resource offering:

  • A live Help Chat Line for youth seeking help with bullying situations
  • Resource pages for parents and educators
  • An upcoming resource section devoted to dealing with online cyberbullying.

Looking for homegrown Maine resources?

Crossroads Youth Center’s United Against Bullying Maine offers a bullying prevention school visitor program.

Visit the Creating Safe Maine Schools Coalition for an online guide to bullying prevention and safe schools programs and resources across the state.

For free, online professional development and model policy resources on preventing and responding to bullying, visit the DOE’s bullying prevention page.