City of Alexandria Observes Bullying Prevention Month

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City of Alexandria Observes Bullying Prevention Month

­­For Immediate Release: October 5, 2020

In recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month in October, the Mayor’s Campaign to End Bullying encourages Alexandrians to learn more about what bullying is; what to do about it; and how to prevent it. 

“The City of Alexandria is committed to kindness, inclusivity and acceptance, and we recognize and respect the dignity of every human being,” said Mayor Justin Wilson. “I encourage everyone to learn the facts about bullying and help us make our schools and our community bully-free.” At the City Council meeting on October 6 at 7 p.m., Mayor Wilson will present a proclamation recognizing October as Bullying Prevention Month in Alexandria.

Although activities this year are limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are things everyone can do in recognition of Bullying Prevention Month. All Alexandrians are asked to wear green on “Unity Day,” October 9; pledge their support for a bully-free Alexandria; and follow Bully Free Alexandria on Twitter (@BullyFreeAlexVA) to learn more about bullying prevention information and activities. Residents can also visit alexandriava.gov/EndBullying for information and resources about reducing bullying in the community. 

In addition, the Mayor’s Campaign to End Bullying created a comprehensive Bully Free Starts With Me brochure that describes the campaign’s goal; explains what bullying is; lists bullying’s effects; provides statistics describing the extent of bullying nationally and in Alexandria; lists responses to bullying activity; and explains how to report bullying.

Each year, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, more than 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year, and 71% of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their schools. 

Data from the 2017 Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) Youth Risk Behavior Survey show that 13% of high school students reported being bullied on school property and 10% reported being bullied electronically. Of middle school students, 25% reported being bullied on school property and 13% reported being bullied online. Membership in either bully or victim groups is associated with dropping out of school, poor social development, criminal activity and other negative long-term consequences.

This year’s observance is sponsored by the Mayor’s Campaign to End Bullying, initiated by former Alexandria mayor William Euille in 2014. The campaign is part of an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors to wipe out bullying in our nation's schools and communities. Over the last six years, ACPS, City government agencies, community organizations, youth leaders and residents have worked together to increase the awareness of the negative effects of bullying and to prevent bullying among Alexandria’s youth.

Visit alexandriava.gov/EndBullying for more information about the campaign and National Bullying Prevention Month 2020.

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959.

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact emma.beall@alexandriava.gov or call 703.746.3670, Virginia Relay 711.

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/118158.

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