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This entry was posted on February 26, 2015.
Handband is using their popular 'Say No to Bullying' wristbands to lend support to the fifth National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence, slated for Friday March 20, 2015.
This annual day provides a focus for all schools to say "Bullying. No Way!" and to strengthen their existing everyday messages that bullying and violence at school are not okay at any time. While some folks may attempt to paint it as ‘part of growing up’, it has become clear that bullying is both a dangerous and emotionally damaging practice. Including actions such as threatening behavior, physical or verbal attacks, spreading rumors, or deliberately excluding someone from a group or activity, it’s been shown to cause long lasting damage in addition to the distress experienced as it happens.
Sadly, statistics show that bullying is all too prevalent here in Australia. A study reported that a staggering 1 in 4 children of both elementary and high school age experienced being bullied. It was most common amongst Year 5 and Year 8 students; both very formative times in an adolescent’s life. One of the most important statistics, though is this: peers are present in 87% of bullying interactions, mostly as onlookers who do nothing to help the victim. It’s clear that children need to be acutely aware of how wrong bullying is and further, feel empowered to stop it - be it calling bullies out on their behavior, reporting it or peacefully intervening.
Many companies, like Handband, have supported anti-bullying and anti-violence causes, and as such, have helped spread the word to discourage bullying on National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence. Students, teachers and parents are searching for ways to raise awareness of bullying in schools, as well as start the conversation about it in an attempt to stamp it out altogether. Some companies offer discounts for volume purchases, so that schools and classrooms can participate and support the day.
Schools and organisations can choose to fundraise in support of the day. Schools and organisations can offer incentives to donate to causes, including the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence. Many companies produce products that are highly cost-effective and will not work against the campaign - rather, offering potential donors an a symbol of their donation. Not only does it give the donor a sense of a reward for their good deed, they can also proudly show and discuss the cause they’ve donated to.
Studies that show bullying is an ever present problem in schools, but they also show something else: there has been an improvement over the last few years. Though the 27% of students bullied is still too high, it’s down from 37% reported in 2006. Also promising is the fact that the all too familiar racial bullying against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders has actually improved considerably. Compared to the 31% rate reported in 2005, Three years later the figure was down to 10% and reports suggest it continues to improve. Clearly, the push to stop bullying and violence in schools is having an effect. Help keep the progress going - raise awareness and show your support with a symbol for those who participate in events, or by holding a fundraiser to donate to the cause.