Champions for Children with Disabilities
September 26, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michele St. Martin
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center offers resources for students, parents, schools, and communities
Minneapolis: There is much to think about as a new school year begins. For those students who experience bullying, however, going back to school can be a challenging change. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, one of every four students reports being bullied during the school year — that’s 13 million children around the country.
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, which was founded in Minneapolis in 2006, offers resources for students, parents, schools and communities to address bullying and unite for kindness, inclusion, and acceptance.
Engagement with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center begins with its three innovative websites, all created to target a specific audience:
- PACER.org/bullying for parents and professionals
- PACERTeensAgainstBullying.org for middle and high school students
- PACERKidsAgainstBullying.org for elementary school students
These websites provide information about bullying at school, in communities and online, and support to those who experience bullying. The sites include classroom toolkits and activities, videos, personal stories, statistics, and merchandise to raise awareness of this important issue.
The sites are making a difference. For example, a student thanked PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center for responding to her message and offering her the vital support she needed.
“The websites you put a link to really made a difference in my life and changed my way of seeing and dealing with the problem,” she wrote. “Without you I could have spent the rest of the year hiding from the students bullying me and feeling way too miserable to do the things I enjoy.”
The sites also offer resources such as student action plans and template letters that help parents report bullying to school officials. A new area of PACER.org/bullying shares information for students with disabilities, who are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their nondisabled peers. It includes information on rights and policies, tools for self-advocacy and peer advocacy, and tips for using “person first language” when speaking to or about someone with a disability.
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center can arrange a speaking engagement with its national ambassador Erin Barlow or schedule a local performance of its KIDS AGAINST BULLYING Puppet Program. Schools or organizations outside of the Twin Cities can purchase the puppets and bullying prevention script.
“We believe that bullying should no longer be considered an accepted childhood rite of passage,” said Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. “Together, we can raise awareness of this issue and work together to make our schools and communities safe for all students.”
October will mark the 10-year anniversary of National Bullying Prevention Month, which PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center founded in 2006. For information, call 952-838-9000 or visit PACER.org/bullying.