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Advocacy and Self-Advocacy - Episode 22

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4:25 minAdvocacy and Self-Advocacy - Episode 22

Advocacy and Self-Advocacy - Episode 22

Have you ever wondered what it means to be an advocate for yourself as well as others, and how that relates to bullying prevention? Well, you are in the right place for this week’s episode!

  • Author: NBPC
  • Duration: 4:25 minutes
  • Date Posted: 2/7/2018

Series: PACERTalks About Bullying - Season 1

We are so excited to be launching our brand new series, PACERTalks About Bullying, where each week we will be talking about all things bullying. In our first episode, we’ll share more about PACER Center and what we do.


Hey there welcome back to PACER talks about bullying. I'm Bailey we're glad you're here.

This month we're talking all about advocacy and self-advocacy. Now you may be wondering what's the deal? How does this connect to bullying prevention? Well you're in the right place. In this week's episode we're going to share a little bit more about what it means to be an advocate as well as what it means to be a self-advocate. Let's get into the episode.

So, first let's start with advocacy. What does it mean? Well advocacy is looking out for students who are experiencing bullying are vulnerable to being hurt or are isolated from others. Advocates help by looking out for these students, protecting them, and making sure that they're included.

What's the connection between advocacy and bullying prevention? Well advocates have the opportunity to be there and support students who experience bullying. There's so much power and student support and it works for two reasons.

The first is that students have the ability usually to see bullying before adults do. Whether it's happening in a student only space like the locker rooms or recess. Or maybe it's happening within social groups where adults may not be aware of it. Students often know about bullying first and have the opportunity to do something about it.

The second is that there's power in pure voice. Usually advice that students give to another peer or speaking out about stopping bullying. Has more weight than if adults were to give the same advice. Students listen to their peers and they also have the power to set the tone of what's acceptable at school.

How can students become advocates for peers that are experiencing bullying? The first is to look out for students who may be vulnerable to bullying behavior, isolated, or not have a place to fit in. Invite them to sit with you at lunch or join your group activity or even join you in a game at recess. It's great when students have a place where they feel like they belong.

If you do see a student who experiencing bullying, there's a few things that you could do. If it feels safe you could help them get away from the situation or say something to the person that's doing the bullying behavior. You could also let a teacher know or privately go up to them and let them know what you saw what happened and that it's not their fault and that they don't deserve to be bullied.

Now that we've talked a little bit about what it means to advocate for others. Let's talk about what it means to advocate for yourself. Self-advocacy is communicating on your own behalf about what you need and taking action in a direct and respectful way. The connection between self-advocacy and bullying prevention.

Is that self-advocacy empowering students to protect themselves from bullying? Self-advocacy is such an important skill because it allows students to be involved in the decision-making process. To say no and be okay with it. And tell others what they need to feel safe and supported at school. There's a few steps that students can take towards becoming a self-advocate.

The first is knowing that they have the right to be safe and supported at school. Every state has a law or policy when it comes to bullying prevention. So, knowing that it's their right not to experience hurt or harm at school. Is so empowering.

The second is to express what they need. Students know best what will make them feel safe and supported at school. So, sharing that with others involved in the action plan is so important towards becoming a self-advocate.

And the third is involving an adult. Tell this adult what you need as a student. What will make you feel safe at school and how you want their support. And that's all that we have for this week's episode. We hope you know more about what advocacy and self-advocacy means. How it connects to bullying prevention and how students can advocate not only for others but for themselves.

Make sure to join us right back here next week as we continue to dive into the topic. And remember together we can create a world without bullying. See Ya!