Bully-Free: It Starts with Me The NEA Campaign Against Bullying
Bullied students that go it alone because they don’t know who to turn to are far more likely to fall behind in their studies, get sick and/or depressed, miss school, and drop out. And in the most tragic cases, the bullied student commits suicide. We know that bullying affects academic achievement. Students can’t learn when they are in fear. But research tells us that one caring adult can make all the difference in a bullied student’s life.
It is crucial that bullied students know which adults in their school or community they can go to in their time of distress—adults who will listen to them and act on their behalf.
The Bully-Free: It Starts With Me Campaign identifies caring adults in our schools and communities who are willing to stand up as someone pledged to help bullied students. These caring adults agree to listen carefully to the bullied student who comes to them. They also agree to take action to stop the bullying. NEA, in turn, provides those caring adults with the resources they need to provide solace and support to the bullied student, and to take the appropriate actions needed to stop the bullying.
The campaign connects bullied students with caring adults—one on one. It is our profoundest hope that the caring adults who have volunteered for Bully-Free: It Starts With Me will also become part of a larger effort to bully-proof our schools. We encourage all caring adults to speak up for bullied students and advocate for measures that will stop bullying in our school communities.
There is a wealth of research-based information available about bullying on NEA’s Bully Free website. And as one of the world’s foremost anti-bullying experts, psychology professor Dan Olweus, notes: “It now all boils down to a matter of will and involvement on the part of adults in deciding how much bullying will take place in our schools.”
In other words, when it comes to student bullying, adults can stop it, fix it, and prevent it from happening again—and NEA wholeheartedly embraces this goal. It starts with one caring adult and results in all of us creating safe learning environments and supportive communities for our students.