Communities band together nationwide to stomp out bullying
On Monday, October 1, schools and communities across the nation will be joining together in an effort to bring attention to the not-so-often talked about subject of bullying amongst teenagers. Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers will be among the schools and community organizations recognizing National Stomp Out Bullying Day by wearing blue shirts in support of bringing attention to the issue, and educating adults on what’s really happening with our country’s teens.
Research has shown that bullying is a problem affecting millions of teens nationwide – with 1 out of every 4 kids being bullied at some point, and 43% of students being bullied online. Earlier this year, Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers, with the support of local school districts, initiated the DNTH8 (don’t hate) texting campaign, offering students an anonymous way to report information about bullying in their schools. Often times, students don’t know where or how to report information, or are simply afraid to share with someone that they are the subject of being bullied. Through this texting campaign, they can report any bullying activity, either happening to themselves or someone else, by texting CRIMES (274637) Keyword: DNTH8. Information received from those anonymous tips is immediately forwarded to law enforcement and school resource officers for follow up. Students remain completely anonymous, so there’s no fear of retaliation from other students.
“We realize that texting is an extremely popular form of communication amongst teenagers,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. “So our organization felt that offering a teen-friendly means to provide information on bullying activity would provide a safe outlet to help stop the violence and intimidation that goes along with bullying. We’re hoping that teachers, students and community members throughout Southwest Florida will join with us and wear blue on Monday to show their support of any and all anti-bullying efforts.”
Information on bullying can also be made anonymously online at www.swflcrimestoppers.org or by calling the 24/7 hotline at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).
A few quick facts on bullying, based on national research:
- As many as 160,000 students stay home on any given day because they’re afraid of being bullied.
- 43% of teens fear harassment in the bathroom at school.
- 35% of students have been threatened online. Nearly 1 in 5 have had it happen more than once.
- 80% of the time, an argument with a bully will end up in a physical fight.
- 58% of kids have not told their parents, or an adult, about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.
- Bullies are more likely to skip school, drop out of school, smoke, drink alcohol, get into fights and be arrested at some point in their life.
Note: Photos of the DNTH8 campaign poster, as well as the National Stomp Out Bullying t-shirt, are attached to this release.
For additional information, contact Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator, at 239-477-1407 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the National Stomp Out Bullying Day, go to www.stompoutbullying.org.