Part 1: Statement of IntentI intend to positively impact children’s confidence and self-esteem levels, especially children who need encouragement and motivation when and if they encounter bullying in their school or home context.

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Part 2: Current Contexts
Around the world, advocates for social change are targeting bullying and how it impacts children negatively. Scholars, educators and policy builders agree that bullying is a prevalent issue. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, one out of every four students (or 22%) will be bullied by their peers during any school year. However, many children do not report bullying tactics due to fears of losing friends or of being labelled as a “tattle-tell”. According to a study conducted by Petrosino, Guckenberg, DeVoe and Hansen (2010), only 36% of children who are bullied will report the situation to their parents or teachers. Studies have demonstrated that school-based intervention programs eradicate bullying by up to 25% (McCallion and Feder, 2013). As such, institutions like PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center have helped communities fight the aftermath effects of bullying (such as sleep deprivation, anxiety and depression) by providing families with interactive websites that instruct children and their parents on how to constructively talk about bullying and how to take proactive steps to build up their confidence levels and deal with their bullies. PACER also has installed an online curriculum that educates, inspires and encourages children to promote safer school environments. In 2006, PACER pinpointed October as National Bullying Prevention Month and has set up workshops that raise awareness about bullying and constructive means to fight it.

In recent years, celebrities such as Kelly Clarkson, Metallica, Pitbull and David Guetta have added their voices to anti-bullying campaigns. One particularly popular movement is known as the STOMP Out Bullying and Cyber-bullying, founded in 2005. This community has been recognized as one of the most influential anti-bullying and cyber-bullying America organizations. Involving celebrities in the process has been instrumental to the campaign’s success given that many children feel more incensed to do something about their situation if they learn that one of their role models has also suffered at the hands of a bully. Cyber-bullying is not a subject to take lightly. The aggressive tones of bullying via the web have increasingly become a source of concern among parents and teachers. Whereas 19.6% of high school American students report being bullied in a school context in the last year, 14.8% have reported being bullied online according to the Center for Disease Control (2014).

Part 3: Statement of Response and Goals
As such, in order to fight bullying in schools and at home, I hope to work with children, parents and teachers in the near future. The following three goals will be addressed.

Firstly, I hope to work around the following three goals: to reduce bullying in early school years in focusing on my target group. I would work with motivational leaders, educators and advocacy groups to help young children discover the impact of bullying and how to counter it. I would use educational videos and in-class workshops to educate children and would update their parents on how these workshops are developing in newsletters.

Secondly, I would promote tolerance and diversity. So as to educate children on the benefits of tolerating different children of diverse backgrounds (religion, ethnicity, color, etc.), I would group children in different groups on an hourly basis in order to promote interaction and communication.

Thirdly, I would build an anti-bullying policy. This policy would have to entail particulars dealing with how to fight discrimination, how to identify bullying when it takes place, how to distinguish verbal from physical and emotional bullying, raise awareness about how prevalent bullying is in the United States. In so doing, this policy will help bullied children feel less isolated and more encouraged to speak out and act against bullies. I would also incorporate workshops on cyber-bullying and other forms of harassment that tend to happen on the web in order to educate children about the dangers of cyber-bullying in today’s world.

    References
  • Ferguson, C. et al. (2007). The Effectiveness of School-Based Anti-Bullying Programs. Criminal Justice Review 32 (4), 401-414. Retrieved from: http://www.christopherjferguson.com/bully.pdf
  • McCallion, G. and Feder, J. (2013). Student Bullying: Overreach of Research, Federal Initiatives, and Legal Issues. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved from: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43254.pdf
  • Petrosino, A., Guckenberg, S., Devoe, J. and Hanson, T. (2010). What characteristics of bullying, bullying victims, and schools are associated with an increased reporting of bullying to school officials? National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/northeast/pdf/REL_2010092_sum.pdf
  • PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. PACER. Retrieved from: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/about/
  • Youth Risk Behaviour Surveillance—United States, 2013. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss6304.pdf