On Saturday, Title V Parent Advisory Council (PAC) will host a Walk & Roll Against Bullying at the Twin Rivers Bridge Park off I-430 North in Little Rock from 8 a.m. to noon. PAC will be joined by Amy Crain, Miss Arkansas 2013.
Bullying is a disturbing problem in the special needs population. One study shows that 60 percent of students with disabilities report being bullied regularly compared with 25 percent of all students. According to Rodney Farley, Parent Con-sultant for DDS Children’s Services/Title V CSHCN, the best way to stand up to the bullying problem is to first recognize that there is a problem.
Then we should continue to assist the cause by sharing encouraging stories and calling for an end to the bully epidemic.
Amy Farley’s platform, Bullying: Prevention and Recovery stems from a personal experience she endured in high school. She has now created the "All In" program for school students where she discusses her story and experiences as well as the actions students can take to ensure we are proactively working to end bullying for our youth.
Many states, including Arkansas, have state laws and policies regarding bullying, hazing and harassment. There are countless resources and models available to stop the bully process. The PAC is producing this awareness walk as a way of giving support and resource materials to the community.
"We want to stop bullying by pointing out the effects of it. We want to teach others to be more than bystanders. We want to diminish the victim list" says Farley. Community-wide strategies can help identify and support children who are bullied, redirect the behavior of children who bully, and change the attitudes of adults and youth who tolerate bully-ing behaviors in peer groups, schools, and communities.
Those planning to walk or roll should plan on arriving at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
"A total of 160,000 children stay home from school each day to avoid being bullied," Farley said.
The End of Bullying Begins with Me: that’s the message during PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Month in October, said Farley.
It’s a time when communities can unite nationwide to raise awareness of bullying prevention through events, activities, outreach, and education. Resources from PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Cen-ter make it easy to take action," she said.
PACER created the campaign in 2006 with a one-week event which has now evolved into a month-long effort that encourages everyone to take an active role in the bullying prevention movement.
"We have a variety of resources you can use during October — and throughout the year — to engage, educate, and inspire others to join the movement and prevent bullying where you live. Check out all of the different events and activities and make plans to get involved. Remember, the End of Bullying Begins With you," she said.
The National Bullying Prevention Center is partnering with Green Giant to encourage parents to "Raise A Giant."
Green Giant goes to great lengths to help people grow and thrive. This means more than providing delicious vegetables for physical health but also helping people thrive emotionally. "Green Giant understands that to grow and thrive you have to feel safe and that is why they are addressing one of the biggest emotional issues facing families today — bullying. To help parents raise kids who are strong inside and out, they’ve partnered with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to help kids learn how to prevent, stop and cope with bullying."