October is National Bullying Prevention Month helping to shed light on childhood bullying, what behavior to look out for and what resources are available to stop it from happening. It also promotes kindness, inclusion, and acceptance for everyone.

According to Youth.gov, the month was made possible by the PACERS National Bullying Prevention Center, with the help of the National Education Center, America’s Federation for Teachers, and the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education. These organizations came together to host a Bullying Awareness Week 16 years ago. The week went over topics including the severe consequences of bullying. They also sponsored events and activities helping to raise awareness on the issue throughout the month. 

The encompassing point of Bullying Prevention Month is to show that bullying in school must be addressed. And with several avenues available for cyberbullying, it is now more important to address this issue with school-aged children.

Montana has laws and regulations in place that prohibit bullying and are implemented in state school district policies. Schools must have a statement prohibiting all forms of bullying in school and create procedures protecting bullying victims and holding the perpetrator accountable for their actions. These policies help create intervention and remediation tactics for the perpetrator and the victim.

The Montana Office of Public instruction has its Bully Free Montana program for all Montana schools. The program defines types of bullying behavior, including cyberbullying. It also establishes clear procedures on how schools can address bullying behavior.

Bully Free Montana prioritizes bullying prevention and intervention as part of the school’s environment,  helping to promote a safe classroom environment. The program also helps to formulate guidelines to report, investigate and respond to bullying incidents in the school system. They also provide tips for students on how to respond if they are being bullied or witness someone else being bullied. 

Click here to learn more about Bully Free Montana and what other initiatives the program takes to prevent bullying.