Stand Up to Bullying

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. For older moms, we think of bullying happening at school and after school in the neighborhood. But the unfortunate reality is that there is now the addition of bullying at home through social media and texts.  Historically, many have referred to bullying as a “childhood rite of passage.” But in recent years, the extent of bullying has far surpassed this thought. It’s reported more than one in five students report being bullied at school each year.
In 2006, National Bullying Prevention Month was founded by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. The purpose of the campaign is to unite communities nationwide to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. There are several other organizations throughout the country with similar campaigns for October.
I think most kids would say they just want to fit in; they somewhat want to be like everybody else – not stand out. I think for kids with a bleeding disorder this is especially true. They don’t want their disorder to make them different. One of the main reasons my son didn’t want his teachers and/or coaches to know he has a bleeding disorder was because he didn’t want to be treated any differently than the rest of the kids.
As a mother, it breaks my heart to think of any child being picked on or excluded – for whatever the reason. One of the positive things I think is a result of Nick living with a bleeding disorder is his empathy toward others. When you don’t want to be treated differently than anyone else, I think you have an understanding of others not wanting to be treated any differently either. has declared the week of Oct. 14 STAND UP for Others Week. If you see someone being bullied, STAND UP for them. Bullies have been known to back off when others stand up for victims. Of course, if you don’t feel safe doing this; get the help of an adult.
I remember when Nick was in seventh grade, he came home and told me there was a new kid in school who was overweight. For the first few days, kids would make fun of him and call him fat. One day Nick was walking past in the hall and heard this going on and said “Stop.” At which point the bully said, “Who’s going to make me?” To which Nick responded “Me!” As the parent of a child with severe hemophilia, I think other moms will know what my first thought was. In my mind, I could see this escalating and ending in a bad way. I pushed that thought down and asked what happened next. He said,  “Nothing!”  After I breathed a sigh of relief, I was so overwhelmingly proud of him.
PACER’s Bullying Prevention Month t-shirt logo is something children and adults alike can focus on, not just in October, but every day! “Choose Kindness, Acceptance and Inclusion”
Tracy, her husband, Lance, and son, Nick, live in Virginia.
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