Stand Up – Speak Up – End Bullying

The goal of the Character Matters Anti-Bullying Campaign is to bring awareness to the issue of bullying and what schools and communities can do and are doing to stop it.  We want to encourage students to share the message that Character Matters and bullying is not acceptable in North Carolina schools and communities.

And The Research Says …

  • The National School Safety Center (NSSC) called bullying the most enduring and underrated problem in U.S. schools.
  • According to the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 20 percent of students in grades 9–12 experienced bullying.
  • The 2008–09 School Crime Supplement (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that 28 percent of students in grades 6–12 experienced bullying.  The rest of the students may be by-standers. So, our focus is not on the bullied or the bully, but those who stand-by and watch it happen.  It takes the entire community to end bullying.

Bullying Defined

A major component to bully prevention is recognizing it when it happens. There is a legal definition for bullying in North Carolina.  According to the School Violence Prevention Act that was passed into law in 2009 (Session Law 212), bullying or harassing behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Unwanted, aggressive and potentially harmful behavior
  • Motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristics such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.
  • Involves a real or perceived power imbalance

Effects of Bullying

Bullying may impact everyone – not just those who are bullied or those who bully, but those who watch it happen (bystanders) as well.

Children who are bullied are more likely to:

  • Skip and/or drop out of school
  • Suffer from decreased academic performance
  • Suffer from depression and anxiety
  • Experience numerous health issues

Children who bully others are more likely to:

  • Skip and/or drop out of school
  • Engage in early sexual activities
  • Engage in criminal activity
  • Be abusive in relationships as children and into adulthood
  • Abuse drugs and alcohol

Bystanders also may suffer from some of these same effects.  Thus, it is important for children to learn what they should do when they see bullying happen.

What to Do

  • If you are a student, tell someone!  Don’t be a bystander.  You may do this anonymously.  Find out what your school policies are on reporting.
  • If you are an adult, stop it when you see it happening.  Don’t assume that it’s just “child’s play.”   Then support the child who was bullied, address the bullying behavior, and be a source of support for those who witnessed the bullying behavior

More Anti-Bullying Resources

See more stories and resources in our Anti-Bullying campaign: