Wear Orange for Unity Day! | Corona, CA

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time of year that we take pause to realize that bullying comes in many forms and is extremely hurtful, but we should all be willing to do something to prevent it from happening.

This year, Unity Day falls on October 20th and is one event that has been recognized in the U.S. since 2011 and is celebrated with individuals, schools, communities, and businesses wearing or sharing the color orange to unite for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion to prevent students being bullied. And what a great cause to get behind! After all the chaos that we’ve had to endure the past couple of years, it is important to look after each other in the most positive way possible.

I know what you may be thinking, why the color orange? Because October is an autumn month that includes Halloween, and Halloween’s mascot is the pumpkin, orange is the perfect warm color to represent that inviting feeling we are trying to convey to others. Not only that, but orange is a bright color that is associated with safety and visibility, and that is exactly the point we are trying to make – we need to radiate empathy and warmth towards others each and every day.

In the past, there have been many examples of groups and businesses participating. In 2013, the iconic Green Giant statue in Blue Earth, MN wore an orange toga and lit up the night sky with an orange glow. TLC of the Discovery Channel made their logo orange for the day. Others have tied orange ribbons to a fence or around a tree, offered an orange item for sale with proceeds to the National Bullying Prevention Center, or created a unity mural.

If you would like to learn more about Unity Day, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

When It Comes to Bullying of LGBTQ Teens Local Politics Matters | Corona, CA

By Cara Murez, HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Youth who identify as LGBTQ+ suffer more bullying at their schools when they live in areas with politically conservative voting records, a new study finds.

School boards should do more to implement policies that go beyond minimum protections for LGBTQ+ youth, regardless of political affiliation, the researchers suggested.

“To my knowledge, nobody has really looked at this connection between a school district’s political attitudes and the experiences of LGBTQ+ students in schools,” said study co-author Paul Kwon, a professor of psychology at Washington State University. “This project highlights an inequity that is not talked about a lot and shows the need for more explicit and inclusive anti-bullying legislation and policies that help mitigate the risks to LGBTQ+ youth, regardless of district political attitudes.”

The study examined school district voting records in the 2016 presidential election, as well as bullying experiences in schools and mental health outcomes of LGBTQ+ students in Washington state using the 2018 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey. The survey included 50,000 students in grades eight to 12, asking about sexual and gender identity, bullying and whether or not teachers intervened during instances of bullying. About 20% of the students included in the survey identified as being LGBTQ+.

Researchers found that LGBTQ+ students are at a higher risk for psychological distress and suicidal thoughts as a result of bullying, particularly in school districts that voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2016 election. These students also reported their teachers were less likely to intervene in instances of bullying than students who responded from more liberal voting districts. The study only found an association between political leanings, bullying and teacher intervention; it wasn’t designed to prove a cause-and-effect link.

In areas where teachers intervened almost always, instances of bullying for LGBTQ+ students matched their non-LGBTQ+ peers, whereas without intervention the LGBTQ+ students reported more bullying.

“This was especially prevalent in more conservative school districts where LGBTQ+ youth report less teacher intervention despite experiencing more bullying,” Kwon said in a university news release. “Over 35% of youth in our study are students in a conservative-leaning school district, possibly placing them at greater risk for more bullying experiences and higher psychological distress.”

The researchers suggested school policy should include explicit parameters for training and education for teachers regarding LGBTQ+ bullying, as well as steps for teachers and administrators to intervene following LGBTQ+ bullying experiences. All school websites should explicitly describe anti-bullying policies as they relate to LGBTQ+ youth using specific examples, the authors said.

“We also recommend educators discuss anti-bullying policy with students and families at the start of each school year, while concurrently highlighting LGBTQ+ identities, particularly in conservative districts,” Kwon said. “After all, students have little choice in the school they attend, almost no choice in the school district they belong to and are unable to vote until they are 18. Thus, they are subjected to the environment of the school and broader culture of the school district chosen for them.”

The findings were published recently in the journal Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy.

The Trevor Lifeline provides LGBTQ+ individuals with crisis intervention and suicide prevention help.

SOURCE: Washington State University, news release, July 19, 2021

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying efforts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Sesame Street Tackles Anti-Asian Bullying with ‘Proud of Your Eyes’ Video | Corona, CA

By Bianca Brutus | June 25, 2021, 9:14 AM PDT

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street,” recently released a video focused on the experiences of Asian American children as part of an ongoing initiative to help families have honest conversations about race.

In “Proud of Your Eyes,” the characters Wes and Alan help their friend Analyn, who is Filipino American, after she was teased about the shape of her eyes. They sing a song together about how their eyes are beautiful and how eyes can tell the story of their family. The video is part of Sesame Workshop’s program “The ABCs of Racial Literacy,” which provides an educational curriculum on racial justice for young children.

The song includes lyrics such as, “Your eyes tell the story of your family. They show where you came from, and how you came to be. The color, the shape and the size should always make you proud of your eyes.”

According to a recent study conducted by Sesame Workshop, 86 percent of children say they believe people of different races aren’t always treated fairly, and parents reported that close to half of these children had personally experienced some form of discrimination.

New videos with Sesame Street Muppet friends include Breathe, Feel, Share, in which Wes, Abby, and Elijah discuss an incident that happened at school and a strategy to cope with hurtful situations.

Sesame Workshop also released online articles, guides and activities to help families continue the conversation about combating racism. The new resources were created with guidance from the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families along with several other racial equity groups.

“The reality is that many children grow up experiencing racism, including Asian American children who for years have reported high levels of racial harassment — a number exacerbated by heightened xenophobia and scapegoating during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Anita Gundanna and Vanessa Leung, co-executive directors of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, said in a statement. “With a long history of building trust with families, Sesame Workshop is the ideal organization to engage parents and caregivers in critical conversations with their little ones, help families cope with the harms of racism, and help build solidarity among communities.”

“Having open conversations with children about race and racism is critical, not only for building understanding and empathy but also for beginning the healing process for children who experience racism,” Gundanna and Leung, who served as advisers on the new Sesame Workshop resources, said.

Alan Muraoka, the Japanese American actor who has played Alan, the owner of Hooper’s Store, on “Sesame Street” since 1998, assisted in creating storylines centered around diversity and discrimination on the show. Last year, he co-directed a special on racism entitled “The Power of We.”

“To be able to see so many different types of people represented is super important,” Muraoka said in an interview with NBC’s “TODAY” show in 2019. “So, for me, being Japanese American, you know, to be sort of the Asian American representation on the show is so important, and I’ve had so many Asian American parents come up and say how much that meant to them. But I feel like I’m just another person in this beautiful fabric that we’ve woven and created.”

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying efforts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Child Protection Week Kicks Off with Launch of Anti-Bullying Campaign | Corona, CA

Bullying is a worldwide issue. Sometimes it’s nice to see how other countries are working to prevent it.

By Chulumanco Mahamba Time of article published 10h ago

Johannesburg – Basic Education Deputy Minister Dr Reginah Mhaule has urged parents to pay attention to the behaviour of their children and speak to them regularly about school.

This came as the department launched an anti-bullying campaign.

The Department of Basic Education partnered with sister departments, social partners, and key stakeholders to roll out its school violence and bullying prevention initiative on Friday at Tshepana Primary School in Orange Farm.

Child Protection Week started on Sunday, and will run until June 6 under the theme, Let us protect children during Covid-19 and Beyond.

The intervention against bullying came after 15-year-old Limpopo learner Lufuno Mavhunga committed suicide after the release of a video of her being repeatedly slapped by a fellow learner last month. After the incident, bullying and violence in schools took centre stage in the national conversation on safety in schools.

Speaking at the launch, Mhaule spoke about the importance of parents and guardians playing a role in school activities and being equipped with tools to make a meaningful contribution to the success of their children.

“Sometimes when incidents happen, we indicate that the child did speak but we did not listen and we did not take it seriously. I am saying to the parents, let’s observe the attitude and behaviour of our children,” she said.

Mhaule added that if parents saw their children behaving badly or they did not want to go to school, they must dig deeper in case it was related to bullying.

“Parents must pay attention to the behaviour of their children and speak to them regularly about school,” she said.

Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Pinky Kekana, cautioned parents about giving their children cellphones too early and the risk they might have to their well-being.

“Your behaviour on social media is very important. There are dos and don’ts. If you know you cannot say something to someone face-to-face, don’t say it on social media,” Kekana told the learners.

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Njabulo Nzuza, spoke to the learners about the ID registration services that the department brought to the community.

“It might seem like a very small issue having an identity, an ID number, ID document or even a birth certificate. If you don’t have an ID number, you become what they call invisible, and even after you have passed on in life, not even your great-grandchildren will know you existed,” the deputy minister said.

During the launch, the department revealed a mural at the school, which would serve as a reminder to learners that with every right, as set in the Constitution, came responsibilities.

“We call on all learners to appreciate that their rights are inseparable from the duties and responsibilities towards others,” it said.

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying efforts in other countries, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Student Bullying Facts and Statistics | Corona, CA

There’s no doubt that bullying has become a problematic epidemic in the United States, but just how much of a problem has it become? Whether it be cyber bullying or bullying in real life, just about everyone has experienced some degree of bullying throughout their lifetime. Though some children and teens experience bullying at high rates and with more persistence than others, just about every child around the country is mostly likely going to have some type of connection to bullying.

The following list includes many alarming and disheartening facts and statistics concerning both cyber bullying and bullying in real life:

Bullying Facts and Statistics

  • According to bully statistics, the percentage of students varies anywhere between 9% to 98%.
  • A study was conducted by the US National Library of Medicine, which explored bullying over 1025 students at the college level by students and teachers, it was found that out of 1025 undergraduates students, 24.7% bully other students occasionally while 2.8% do it very frequently.
  • 49% of children in grades four to 12 have been bullied by other students at school level at least once.
  • 23% of college students stated to have been bullied two or more times in the past month.
  • 20% of the US students in grades nine to 12 reported being bullied.
  • 71% of youth have witnessed bullying at school.
  • 70% of school staff have reported being a witness to bullying.
  • Statistics on Facebook bullying found that at least 1 million kids were bullied on Facebook in 2017 alone.
  • Youth with disabilities; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students; students that are overweight; and students that are perceived as “weak” or “insecure” are the most likely targets of bullies.

If you would like to learn more about bullying statistics, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Sticks and Stones May Break May Bones…but Words Hurt Just as Much | Corona, CA

As schools slowly begin to open back up, it is important to remember that we still need to look after one another. Not only by physically washing our hands and keeping our distance, but by watching what we say so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. We’ve been separated for a long time and as we start to come back together, we need to appreciate all that has happened. No one liked being in quarantine, away from friends and family so it is important to make life so much better if we are friendly to one another and help out wherever we can.

Earlier this month was Words Matter Week, a week-long celebration of our language and the way we speak to one another. Created by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE), this week is a time to focus on banishing grammatically incorrect and hurtful words from our written and spoken communication.

Because it seems bullying starts at a young age, it is a good idea to speak to your little ones about the way various forms of speech affects others, both positively and negatively. Try these questions to spark a discussion:

  • Words can change history. What word, speech, or document do you believe to be most important?
  • What writers make your heart sing? Why?
  • What word, said or unsaid, has or could change your life? How?
  • Communication breaks down when words are misused. What is the funniest or worst break-down you’ve ever observed?
  • What person in your life helped you understand the importance of choosing words carefully?
  • If you had to eliminate one word or phrase from the English language, what would it be? Why?

If you would like to learn more about Words Matter Week, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Anti-Bullying Webcasts | Corona, CA

Being in a pandemic is not only rough on us mentally; but can also begin to take a toll on our relationships. Thankfully, there are lots of resources you can turn to if you feel that you or someone in your life is being affected by bullying. The more information we can gain about how to actively treat a situation, the easier it will be to correct a bad situation before it gets out of hand and causes more issues. Here are just a few webcasts to give you some handy tips:

Anti-Bullying Supports for Peers: Be an Upstander

Be an Upstander is a video for use with middle and high-school students. It demonstrates strategies that can turn bystanders (persons not directly involved in the bullying incident) into Upstanders, those who can help diffuse a bullying situation.

Anti-Bullying Strategies and Supports for Families: Supporting Individuals with Special Needs

We believe that all persons have the right to live life as the persons they are, with their similarities and differences to others, and not live in fear of being bullied.  This webcast shares a little bit about bullying in general, how it applies to individuals with disabilities, and some ideas that can help family members support the individual with special needs who is a part of their life.

Anti-Bullying Strategies and Supports for Educators:  Supporting Individuals with Special Needs

Did you know that 60% of students with disabilities report being bullied compared with 25% of students without disabilities? This is why we need to focus on how to help the students who are usually the most vulnerable in schools. This webcast shares information about bullying in general, how it applies to individuals with disabilities, and some ideas that can help school staff support the individual with special needs.

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying webcasts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Be Kind: It’s Time for the World Kindness Youth Conference | Corona, CA

It’s that time of year again – 2020 World Kindness Youth Conference! And yes, things are a little bit different this year, but even COVID-19 can’t stop kindness from shining through. Being kind can happen anywhere, anyway and anyhow. It could be as simple as smiling at a stranger or helping out a friend. It is a lovely feeling to be kind and the happiness it creates spreads faster than California wildfires. So much so, November 13th is officially declared World Kindness Day.

World Kindness Day was an idea created in 1998 that sprang from Japan’s Small Kindness Movement, which was created in 1963 after the president of Tokyo University was mugged in a public place and no one helped him. This international campaign was designed to bring people from a diverse background together to unite nations through acts of kindness regardless of politics, race, religion, gender, sexual preference, age and even zip codes. It has received support from heads of state and is now recognized as the official day to recognize the important role kindness plays in societies around the world.

We may not have schools to go to, but this doesn’t stop the fun. Each day this week, we will feature a different topic and speaker, all leading up to World Kindness Day. Topics will include: Empathy with John Pritikin, self-confidence with Grandma Rose, self-care mindfulness with Tami and Shred Away Your Worries and finally World Kindness Day and gratitude grateful activity and kindness acts.

It’s going to be a great week, filled with kindness, peace and love. Spread kindness throughout the world and it will come back tenfold.

If you would like to learn more about World Kindness Youth Conference, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Celebrating World Kindness Day | Corona, CA

In this COVID-19 world, we are asked to stay away from each other in order to stay safe. It feels lonely, especially when you aren’t living with family. The isolation can become tedious. Thankfully, there is something we can do to brighten our spirits in a very safe way – celebrate World Kindness Day.

World Kindness Day was created on November 13th, 1998 by The World Kindness Movement. There are currently 28 countries involved in this movement to create a kinder world by inspiring others. By spreading kindness to others, you are building a bridge that will close the gap between you and other nations.

So, how do you celebrate World Kindness Day during a pandemic? Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Send a friendly text to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Tell them how much you care.
  • Let that person merge ahead of you with a friendly wave and a smile.
  • Spend your days with things that make you happy and laugh.
  • Compliment a co-worker or friend.
  • Reach out to a relative you miss. Even a quick conversation can soothe the soul.
  • Buy someone a special treat, like a coffee. You’d be surprised how happy someone can be when a stranger foots the bill.
  • Taking a moment to go outside your comfort zone will not only change the way you are kind to others, but you will start to grow as a person.

By spreading random acts of kindness, you will not only make someone else feel good, but it will make you feel good at the same time. Maybe it will inspire that person to pay it forward. The next thing you know, the world is a brighter place to live. Even during this lonely time…enjoy World Kindness Day.

If you would like to learn more about World Kindness Day, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Bullies Hurt Themselves too | Corona, CA

These days, it is easier to find bullies than heroes. But it shouldn’t be the way and we should focus 2020 on becoming a more tenderhearted society. Because bullying doesn’t just affect the victim, it affects everyone involved, including the bully. I know it may be tough to make sense of all of that, but if you think about it, it really isn’t tough to see. If you are a happy person, you have no reason no bully anyone. No, bullies are generally hurting themselves at the same time. 

Think about it – each time a bully hurt someone, they become more and more removed emotionally from the suffering and pain of their victims and begin to justify their actions to themselves by believing their victims deserve to be bullied. Eventually, they believe that the only way to get what they want from others is to be that bully. As a result, bullies fail to develop the social skills necessary for sharing, reciprocating, empathizing, and negotiating – the very things that form the basis for lasting friendships.

But that’s not all. There is a lasting affect that results if a child bully doesn’t change their ways. As they mature into adulthood, children who have bullied others often show higher rates of:

  • Aggression
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Carrying weapons to school
  • Dropping out of high school
  • Convictions for crime
  • Difficulty controlling their emotions
  • Traffic violations
  • Convictions for drunk driving
  • Depression
  • Suicides

Some adults who have been bullied as children may be more likely to allow their own children to bully others, thus raising a new generation of bullies. So, if you know a bully, take the time to reach out and understand why they feel the need to bully.

If you would like to learn more about bully prevention, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.