As a kick-off to the prevention month, the second annual ‘Run, Walk, and Roll Against Bullying’ event was held in Minneapolis on Saturday, October 1st. All funds raised were donated to Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center – an organization founded in 2006 to offer creative solutions and resources for schools, parents, and kids alike. In addition to the kick-off run, PACER will host two other major events. ‘Unity Day,’ which aims to unite communities against bullying by asking allies to wear and distribute orange paraphernalia, will take place on Wednesday, October 12th. Next, at the end of the month, schools and organizations across the nation will participate in ‘Unity Dance Day.’ This event aims to promote safe school environments through choreographed dance and movement. It is an interactive, creative way to channel the power of music into a worthwhile message against bullying.
The director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, Julie Hertzog, speaks to the importance of community events throughout the month: “The culture of bullying won't end until people across the country take action and show children and teens that they care. This is a very real and painful issue that kids are facing…But they don't have to face it alone, and bullying can be prevented if we all work together to change the culture.”
The PACER center, along with GLAAD, urges all allies to observe and get involved with the movement. Even if you don’t live in the Minneapolis metro-area, you can still bring the events to your hometown - each event can be recreated anywhere. Whether an individual or a national organization, we can all participate by visiting PACER’s website.
This month, as we also recognize LGBT History Month, let’s reflect on how we can work to prevent bullying in our own communities. Together, we can create a climate of safety, inspire others to act, and protect young people in the future from the bullying that affects so many kids today.