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Press Release

September 17, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Grant McGinnis
(952) 838-9000, National toll-free (888) 248-0822
[email protected]

Students, parents, and educators nationwide unite during PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Month in October

MINNEAPOLIS: October is National Bullying Prevention Month when students, schools, and communities come together to raise awareness and show support for those who have been bullied. This high-profile national event was launched in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center (PACER.org/Bullying) to raise awareness that bullying is a serious issue and people need to take action. It is now supported by hundreds of schools, countless students, major corporations and celebrities, and PACER’s efforts have spawned an international bullying prevention movement.

“It has grown beyond our expectations and has become a major event,” said Paula Goldberg, executive director of PACER Center, the Minneapolis-based non-profit that created the National Bullying Prevention Center. “The support has been amazing and people all over the world are showing that they care about bullying prevention, and are doing what they can to change the culture.”

One in three American children will be bullied this year, more than 13 million students in all. PACER considers bullying to be a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students. Research shows that children who are bullied at school, in the community, or online are more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders and the lasting effects can be tragic. “October is a time when educators, students, parents, and community members can unite to share an important message – that bullying is not acceptable behavior in their school and community,” said Julie Hertzog, executive director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.

Students are planning events and activities across the country to raise awareness and support their peers, including celebrations of Unity Day on Wednesday, Oct. 22. That’s when people will unite by wearing orange and making a widespread statement that bullying needs to end. In addition, Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying events, which PACER initiated in 2010, are hosted by organizations across the country. To make it easier for individuals and organizations to hold events, PACER offers a free student event planning guide  developed in partnership with Facebook.

The Center also provides helpful resources for parents and educators. Last year, three million people in 195 countries downloaded PACER’s web-based tools for use in their communities. Next week, PACER is launching mobile-friendly versions of its popular KidsAgainstBullying.org and TeensAgainstBullying.org websites.

“Everyone can play a role in bullying intervention and prevention, and the momentum to address this issue continues to grow,” said Hertzog. “That’s why our theme is, ‘The end of bullying begins with me!’ Students are leading the way by speaking up and coming together to make a difference, not just in October but all year long.”

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About PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center: Founded in 2006, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center actively leads social change, so that bullying is no longer considered an accepted childhood rite of passage. PACER provides innovative resources for students, parents, educators, and others, and recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students. PACER offers tools to address bullying in schools, the community, and online. For more information, visit PACER.org/Bullying.