September | October 2018

October Is National Bullying Prevention Month

A photo of teensNational Bullying Prevention Month is a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about the prevalence and consequences of bullying and highlight approaches communities can adopt to stop this harmful behavior.

Bullying occurs at all ages but tends to be most common in the middle-school years. It can take multiple forms—physical (hitting, kicking, pushing); social (name calling, spreading rumors); and emotional (excluding someone, making embarrassing comments). Bullying can happen on the playground, in the school bus, in school hallways, or online. It is a major discipline issue in our nation’s schools.

Read Administrator Harp's blog post, “Parents, School Staff Should Look for Signs of Bullying Among Youth,” and this issue's Staff Spotlight to learn more about OJJDP’s bullying prevention efforts.

OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide offers evaluations of 10 school-based anti-bullying programs. Programs that were deemed effective encouraged collaboration from the entire school community, including students, counselors, teachers, and administrators. These programs also sought to raise awareness of bullying and promote a culture in which students felt comfortable seeking help when they were bullied. The issue of school-based bullying is further explored in the Model Programs Guide’s Bullying Literature Review.

Thumbnail describing resources available on OJJDP's Model Programs GuideIn addition, the Model Programs Guide offers a School-Based Bullying Prevention Implementation Guide (I-Guide), which describes the most common types of school-based anti-bullying programs, including awareness-raising efforts, mediation and conflict resolution, curricular approaches, and comprehensive approaches. General information on the effectiveness of bullying prevention programs for grades K–12 is offered as well.

Developments in technology and social media have intensified the challenge of addressing bullying. Online harassment through social media, email, and text messages is often difficult for adults to notice or identify. Without adult supervision, the behavior is more likely to continue unchecked in a virtual environment. Increasingly, law enforcement officers are being contacted with complaints of cyberbullying.

Each state addresses bullying differently, through laws and model policies that provide guidance to districts and schools. provides current information on the laws and policies that operate in individual states.

On August 20, 2018, the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention sponsored a Cyberbullying Prevention Summit in Rockville, MD. Speakers included First Lady Melania Trump, senior federal officials, and leaders from the OJJDP-supported Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force program.

In her remarks, the First Lady spoke of her Be Best campaign, which addresses youth health and well-being, social media use, and opioid abuse. "In today's global society, social media is an integral part of our children's daily lives," Mrs. Trump said. "'Be Best' chooses to focus on the importance of teaching our next generation how to conduct themselves safely and in a positive manner in an online setting."


For more information about online safety, visit the ICAC Task Force program's Internet Safety page.

The website provides comprehensive information and resources on how to prevent and respond to bullying. See also the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Bullying fact sheet.