October is Bullying Prevention Month
It’s October, which means the beginning of Fall, the usual Halloween festivities, and National Bullying Prevention Month! This cause is extremely important to Wayside Waifs, as our Humane Education team works to end bullying and increase empathy and compassion skills in area schools with the No More Bullying! Program. On a normal, October day, we would be out in schools with our humane education animals, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pivoting to virtual platforms to connect with students and teachers.
Pivoting has been a valuable skill in almost every aspect of pandemic life – so, it makes sense that it should also apply to understanding bullying. Bullying has not disappeared, but pivoted as well. Accounts of bullying (virtual/cyber) have greatly increased over the past year. One teacher commented that a student reported being bullied because of what their room looked like in the small Zoom screen, while several others have noted increases in bullying on online gaming platforms.
To appropriately and effectively work against these developments, we must gain a better understanding of one another and focus on practicing the five CORE VALUES that we discuss in our No More Bullying! Program – Responsibility, Compassion, Being Humane, Self-Control, and Integrity. Honing our skills in these areas will not only help to eradicate bullying, but will also boost our self-respect and outlook on life, which is incredibly important during a time of distance and isolation.
So, this month, we have created a Kindness Calendar, with different challenges for yourself each day to remember to practice the CORE VALUES. Additionally, on our Wayside Waifs and No More Bullying! Curriculum Facebook pages, we will be posting resources to increase understanding and empathy for others. Please like us on Facebook and jump in to the work that we and our community so desperately need.