Elisha has a Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology, as well as a Bachelor's in Marketing. She has extensive experience creating & teaching curricula in college level education, history, English, business and marketing.
How to Start an Anti-Bullying Campaign
Bullying is considered an epidemic in our society, with kids and adults being bullied on a daily basis. But what is bullying? It's when people who are aggressive and intimidating to others try to control a situation with physical or emotional attacks. With social media, the bullying has been exacerbated because no one can get away from the intimidation and aggressive behavior. When you add that to the fact that many schools still do not have guidelines or rules against bullying, it becomes a huge obstacle for students and parents alike. To counter the negativity of bullying, many people have started campaigns and groups to help stop this behavior in their community. However, how do you even start?
How to Get Started
The first question you need to ask yourself is: Why do you want to start this campaign? And second: What are you trying to accomplish? Bullying awareness isn't enough; people know there is bullying. So what are you trying to do? Are you trying to create a support network for people who have been bullied? Do you want to create new regulations in the schools in your community that handle bullying and its effects? There are many different ways to address the issue, but you do need to determine your campaign's general idea. Once you have answered these questions, you can begin following these steps:
- Choose your campaign's focus - Although it is a challenge, you need to decide what part of bullying you are trying to address specifically. Since you need to start small in the beginning, one focus is best. You can always expand later.
- Research - Now that you have a focus, research online in your area and make sure that there is not another campaign or group that is already addressing the needs you want to focus on. If there is, then find a complementary campaign you can run so that you are helping the support networks and groups that are already in the area.
- Choose your leaders - Once you have the campaign idea and know it is needed in your community, then it's important to choose who is going to help you with the campaign. One person cannot do it all and sleep, so make sure to pick trustworthy people that have the time and passion to dedicate to the cause.
- Decide which actions your campaign will take first - Now that you have a foundation of people, what is your campaign going to do first? How is it going to address bullying issues in your community? Perhaps you can arrange a rally at the local high school or have someone speak at an assembly about their experiences with bullying. Or perhaps you can work with a group to set up a hotline manned by local teens and adults who can be supportive for students. You can always go into your local police department and see if they have programs. Even if they don't, they may still have ideas and needs.
- Start with an event - A good way to get your campaign up and running is to have an event. Advertise at the local schools and businesses, and see if you can hold a meeting or event for your campaign. If you're trying to collect money for bullying services, then talk to local restaurants that will give you a percentage of sales for the night to go towards your cause.
- Find appropriate sponsors - You don't necessarily need a sponsor, but having a business that is willing to fund events or rallies can help you have the foundation needed to really have staying power. Plus, that way, you'll be able to pay people for their assistance instead of just asking for volunteers.
Events or Safe Places
If you're going to have an event, make sure to contact your local community leaders to see if they want to be involved. Contact the newspaper and see if they will run an ad for free. Talk with the local elementary, junior high, and high schools and see if you can do an event during the day to announce yourself to the students. Also, advertise any event you may be having. Then hold the event and be proud of your campaign. Talk to kids and adults, and have people relate their experiences. Consider creating safe places for kids to land when they are being bullied.
If you're going to create a safe place, make sure it is easily accessible at different hours of the day with access to phones and internet to reach parents. Safe places can be in homes or local community businesses that are willing to assist.
Bullying occurs when people who are aggressive and intimidating to others try to control a situation with physical or emotional attacks. It's an obstacle that kids and adults deal with on a daily basis. Anti-bullying campaigns are a great way to bring awareness to the community and help those who believe they have nowhere to turn. Although it is daunting, there are ways and steps on how to get started on creating a campaign of your own.
First, you need a campaign focus to determine what you hope to accomplish as a campaign. Then, you can start researching your community to see what is available already, and work with local groups to find a unique focus. Next, move onto selecting trustworthy leaders that add something to your campaign. Once you have a good framework, decide how you are going to address your concerns and start an event. By this point, finding sponsorship and creating safe places for bullied people might be helpful, but it's all up to you and what you feel the need is in your town.
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