Wednesday, October 7, 2015

There's a "National (fill in the blank) Month" for everything

It's true, whatever your passion, there's a month for that! We just finished September which was National Guide Dog Month as well as National Honey Month. And not only that, there are national days for just about everything. In October alone, you can celebrate National Mad Hatter Day, National Moldy Cheese Day, and National Reptile Awareness Day (to name just a few).

October is National Bullying Prevention Month and this includes cyberbullying. As our children live much of their lives online, they can experience bullying or become a bully in surreptitious ways. Those being bullied online may be afraid to tell anyone about their hurtful experiences; they may be embarrassed or ashamed. Those doing the bullying may be saying or doing things that they would not consider if they were face to face with their victim. The bullying can happen through texting, email, social media, smartphone apps, and in numerous other ways.

At CCS we care. Our computer instructors teach digital citizenship and encourage students to be kind online. Technically we monitor and filter the internet usage of our students when they are on campus or using school resources. The well-being of our students is a top priority for us, and we realize that both the bully and the victim need emotional and spiritual healing.

Parents can help. Talk to your children and teens about their online relationships. Keep devices out in the open at home. Be aware of behaviors that signal that there may be something wrong. Common Sense Media has some excellent resources for parents. They answer questions such as: What is cyberbullying? What should I do if my child is being bullied? What are some apps that stir up drama in school? How do I monitor my teen online without "spying"? What is digital harassment? and many more. also has some great resources.

So this month take the time to learn more about this topic. And you can also celebrate Fire Prevention, Pit Bulls, and Vegetarian Awareness (though not during the Chicken BBQ!)