October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and it's a good time for schools & communities to take stock of current efforts to reduce and prevent bullying. Consider the following: Do current school climates make students feel safe, allowing them to thrive academically and socially? Are youth comfortable speaking up if they are being bullied? Are members of the Catholic community engaged when it comes to reporting bullying stories?
Bullying can be verbal, physical, or online. It can severely affect the victim's self-image, social interactions, and school performance - often leading to insecurity, lack of self-esteem, and depression. School dropout rates and absences among victims of bullying are also much higher than among other students.
Robert Bimonte, NCEA president, said Catholic schools have an important role to play in bullying prevention. "Our Catholic faith teaches children to respect others and emphasizes moral development and self-discipline."
Although, bullying is an issue all schools must deal with. Catholic schools have a distinct advantage - the ability to incorporate the teachings of the Catholic faith. Research shows that a schoolwide character education program can prevent cruelty and promote respect by teaching prosocial skills such as empathy, listening, and conflict resolution.
RCL Benziger's Family Life is a great resource for Catholic schools; as a comprehensive moral catechesis for families, Family Life is designed to complement the religion curriculum in your school or parish. This best-selling program presents the teachings of the church with clarity, and offers unparalleled support for Catholic families!
The following resources provide information regarding RCL Benziger's Family Life program, bullying, and bullying prevention for families and their communities.