Welcome to Bullying Awareness Week !
The idea for a Bullying Awareness Week began with Canadian father and educator Bill Belsey. Not not long after he launched the educational Web site www.bullying.org on February 16, 2000, he was often asked to make presentations about bullying to media and in schools and communities across Canada and around the world. Through the Web site and his travels, he quickly realized that bullying was an issue that touches all people, directly or indirectly, regardless of their age, gender, culture, religion or nationality. He also dreamed of a world where bullying was no longer seen as a "Normal part of growing up", and that prevention through education and awareness was the key. He realized most people do want to "See something done" about bullying.
Bullying Awareness Week is now spreading to other countries around the world. www.bullyingawarenessweek.org is the "mother ship" for this movement and will endeavor to share these international initiatives as they develop with resources in other languages as they are produced. Check www.bullyingawarenessweek.org for updates.
Bullying Awareness Week is an opportunity for people at the grassroots level in communities around the world to get involved in this issue, not by waiting for "Someone else" to do something, but rather for us to work together on preventing bullying in our communities through education and awareness.
Take the theme and make it your own in
Some people think that we shouldn't use the words "bully" or "bullying" out of fear that it will encourage some to engage in this behaviour. Clearly, discussions about bullying need to be put in the broader context of looking at what can be done to promote, develop and support healthy relationships, but you can't have a "Fire Prevention Week" (A very important initiative too) without talking about fire.
Research has shown us that approximately 15% of a given population in a school or workplace are directly involved with bullying, that leaves 85% as potential bystanders or silent majority. This group is the primary focus and target audience for Bullying Awareness Week. The week also has youth as a primary focus, as they are the ones who can "Be the change", and grow up thinking differently about bullying unlike many in previous generations who have attitudes about bullying as a "Rite of passage" or even that "Being bullied is good for you, it toughens you up."
The vision behind Bullying Awareness Week:
Regardless of the activities you choose to participate in at the local level, these are the key messages that every Bullying Awareness Week will focus on:
We may never completely eliminate bullying from society, but it is a fight worth fighting. In recent years we have seen major positive changes in societal attitudes and actions with respect to things like smoking, drinking and driving and recycling, these are all behaviours and they are beginning to change for the better. Bullying is also a behaviour, and as an issue it is today where these other issues were years ago before the public embraced the notion of change. Bullying Awareness Week is all about an invitation for you and your community to "Be the change!"
Please remember these quotes to help guide the efforts in your community:
"Be the change you want to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, determined citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead.
If you share this vision, thank you! Together
we can begin to move the mountain! -BB