October is National Bullying Prevention Month and the Pine Bluff School District’s Title I Parent & Family Resource Center is spearheading an anti-bullying initiative.

The parent center also encourages others to take a stand against bullying, according to a news release.

The release mentions the definition of bullying as defined in a 2013 report on Student Bullying: Overview of Research, Federal Initiatives, and Legal Issues by Gail McCallion, Specialist in Social Policy, and Jody Feder, Legislative Attorney.

“Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally and excluding someone from a group on purpose,” according to the report.

The McCallon and Feder report also said school-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying by up to 25 percent, according to the news release.

The center also released the following data about bullying from a 2016 report from National Center for Educational Statistics:

• More than one out of every five students reports being bullied during the school year.

• Thirty three percent of students who reported being bullied at school indicated that they were bullied at least once or twice a month during the school year.

• Bullied students reported that bullying occurred in the following places: the hallway or stairwell at school (42 percent), inside the classroom (34 percent), in the cafeteria (22 percent), outside on school grounds (19 percent), on the school bus (10 percent), and in the bathroom or locker room (9 percent).

Activities planned in Pine Bluff School District include:

The week of Oct. 8:

• Make friends with someone you don’t know at school. Take action and don’t let anyone at school be in isolation, according to the release.

The week of Oct. 15:

Stand Up for Others Week

• “When you see someone being bullied, be brave and stand up for them. Bullies have been known to back off when others stand up for victims. If you don’t feel safe, get the help of an adult immediately,” according to the release.

The week of Oct. 22:

Students learn what they do matters; students create positive messages on Post-its and hand them out to others at school; and students create an act of kindness every day and challenge others to do the same.

The week of Oct. 29:

Students engage in class discussions on:

• What is cyberbullying?

• Why do students bully and why are students targeted by bullying?

• What can adults in the school do to help?

• What can parents do to help?

• What can the community do to help?

Additional activities are also planned at schools.