Superintendent Juneau Urges Montana Students To Unite Against Bullying

October is Bullying Prevention month, which is a great reminder for students, parents and teachers to know the facts about bullying and learn ways to make school a safer place for all Montana students.

According to 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, more than 37 percent of middle-school-aged students reported being bullied at school, while 21 percent said they had been bullied online. More than a quarter of high school students said they had been bullied at school, and 18.5 percent said they have been bullied electronically.

“Each year I hear from my Student Advisory Board that bullying is an ongoing challenge for students across the state,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau said. “With passage of the Bully-Free Montana Act, families can be assured that schools have policies and procedures in place to address bullying. Continual public awareness and honest conversations with students is key to making Montana truly bully-free.”

Learn more about ways to talk about bullying and find prevention tips and resources at opi.mt.gov/bullyfree.

What to do if you’re being bullied:

  1. Walk away: Bullies want to know they have control over your emotions, so don’t react with anger or retaliate with physical force.
  2. Protect yourself: If you can’t walk away and are being physically hurt, protect yourself so you can get away. Your safety is the first priority.
  3. Report the bullying to a trusted adult: It’s scary to report and no one wants to be seen as a snitch or tattle-tale, but you have a right to be safe at school. Adults are responsible to help with the problem without letting the bully know it was you who reported them.
  4. Repeat as necessary: report each bullying incident until it stops. There is no reason for you to ever put up with bullying.

Ways to unite against bullying:

  • Go purple on 15 for #SpiritDay. Take the pledge against bullying and show your support for LGBT youth.
  • Wear orange 21 for Unity Day. PACER’s National Bullying Prevent Center is sponsoring Unity Day, “Together against bullying. United for kindness, acceptance and inclusion.”
  • Host a community or school event to rally against bullying
  • Show your support for a bully-free Montana by sharing your story or picture on social media with #BullyFreeMT