Students stand against bullying on #UnityDay2017

Bullying is a problem that impacts children across America. To combat the behavior, Wednesday has been declared Unity Day, a day dedicated to ending the destructive behavior.

Students across the country are wearing orange to school to stand up against bullying.

Unity Day is meant to raise awareness of bullying and promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. People are encouraged to wear orange to show solidarity 

This annual movement is put together by Pacer, a Bloomington, Minn.- based non-profit which formed the National Bullying Prevention Center. The organization's website has resources for parents who are concerned their child may be bullied: 

"Unity day is that conversation starter and from there we want people to move forth throughout the school year and continue to talk about this subject," said Julie Hertzog, Director of Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center.

According to The National Center for Educational Statistics, 1 in 5 students reports being bullied during the school year.

For parents, bullying may be difficult to detect. Hertzog suggested parents watch for changes in behavior and talk to their teacher.

"Maybe your child who was really excited to ride the school bus all of a sudden is saying they don't want to ride the school bus...or a lot of time kids don't want to go to school because they don't want to face the bullying at school, so if they're waking up with a stomachache or a headache and seems a little suspect, it's time to have a conversation," she said.

Starting the conversation with your child can be difficult. Hertzog suggests asking them open-ended questions, reassuring your child that they're not alone and teaching them to stand up for their friends who are being bullied.

"Let them know that if they experience bullying that they're not alone, that you're there to help them figure it out because I think with bullying if kids can make it stop on their own they absolutely would. They need adult intervention," she said.

If you're interested in joining the movement, Pacer is encouraging people to post their photos wearing orange using the hashtag #UnityDay2017.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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