PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Oct. 3 is blue shirt day. Wear blue to show support for kindness and to celebrate empathy and respect for putting a stop to bullying.
What is bullying? Bullying is unwanted aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.
Bullying includes actions such as: Making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. It can harm someone physically, emotionally and academically. The damaging effects of bullying do not stop at the individual, and in fact, negatively impacts peers, families, schools and even neighborhoods.
How does bullying affect health? Bullying can result in physical injury, social and emotional distress and even death. Victimized youth are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties and poor school adjustment.
You can respond to bullying by stopping it on the spot, finding out what happened and supporting those involved.
There are signs that a child may be being bullied. It important to note that not all children exhibit the warning signs below:
· Changes in their behavior
· Unexplainable injuries
· Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
· Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
· Changes in eating habits, skipping meals or binge eating.
· Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
· Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or going to school
· Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
· Feelings of helplessness or decreased self-esteem
· Self-destructive behaviors, for example, running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
The following are signs a child may be bullying others:
· Get into physical or verbal fights
· Increasingly aggressive
· In principal’s office frequently
· Unexplained extra money or new belongings
If you know someone in serious distress or danger, don’t ignore the problems and get help right away. Make sure the child knows that it’s not their fault. They are not to blame that bullying is never okay and they have the right to be safe.
The following are resources available to assist:
· Equal Opportunity (45 SW hostile work environment) -- (321) 494-6333
· Stomp Out Bullying Help Chat Line (13-24 year olds) -- 1 (877) 602-8559
· Child’s school administration
· National Suicide Prevention Lifeline -- 1 (800) 273-8255
For more information, contact the 45th Space Wing Violence Prevention Office at (321) 494-3743.