In recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month this October, Alexandria is hosting activities through the Mayor’s Campaign to End Bullying. The purpose of the Campaign is to raise awareness about what bullying is, what to do about it, and how to prevent it.
“We have zero tolerance in Alexandria when it comes to bullying; the core values of our historic city include kindness, inclusivity, and acceptance,” said Mayor Allison Silberberg. “I urge everyone to learn the facts about bullying and join us as we work to ensure Alexandria is a bully-free, compassionate place for all.” On October 9, Mayor Silberberg presented a proclamation recognizing October as Bullying Prevention Month in Alexandria at the City Council meeting.
During October, all Alexandrians are asked to wear green and declare their support for a bully-free Alexandria. Bullying Prevention Month activities will include sports days, a community conversation on October 18, a Bullying Prevention Month walk across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge on October 28, school and recreation center activities, and more. Participants will have the opportunity to pledge their support and receive information and resources on how they can help reduce bullying in the community.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, more than one out of every five (20.8 percent) students nationwide report being bullied. Data from the 2016 Youth Risk Behavior Survey show that in Alexandria, 10.1 percent of eighth graders surveyed and 12 percent of 10th and 12th graders surveyed reported being bullied at school. Additionally, 23.8 percent of eighth graders and 8.9 percent of 10th and 12th graders reported being bullied electronically. Membership in either bully or victim groups is associated with dropping out of school, poor social development, criminal activity and other negative long-term consequences.
This year’s activities are sponsored by the Mayor’s Campaign to End Bullying, initiated by former Alexandria Mayor in 2014. The Campaign is part of an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors to wipe out bullying in our nation’s schools and communities. Over the last four years, Alexandria City Public Schools, City government agencies, community organizations, youth leaders and residents have worked together to increase the awareness of the negative effects of bullying and prevent bullying among Alexandria’s youth.
For more information about the Campaign and a calendar of events for National Bullying Prevention Month 2018, visit alexandriava.gov/EndBullying.