‘Not in Our Town’… Tempe council pledges to fight bullying

One in five students ages 12-18 report being bullied at school during the school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

By Susie Steckner

Mayor Mark Mitchell and the Tempe City Council are joining local education and youth leaders in pledging to stand up to bullying by signing the “Not in Our Town” pledge in support of National Bullying Prevention Month.

At the Sept. 19 Work Study Session, councilmember Randy Keating asked that the pledge and a proclamation be added to a future agenda so the council could take official action to combat bullying in the city of Tempe.

Every October, schools, organizations and communities across the country join together to raise awareness about the prevalence of bullying and cyberbullying and the impact that bullying behaviors have on children of all ages.

At a recent city council meeting, Mitchell and councilmembers signed the “Not in Our Town” pledge to stand up to all forms of hate, bigotry and bullying. They were joined by Superintendent for the Tempe Union High School District Kevin Mendivil, Tempe Elementary School District Superintendent Christine Busch and board members, and members of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Commission.

In addition, Mitchell is proclaiming October as Bullying Prevention Month in Tempe.

“Bullying affects youth in Tempe every day and the results can be devastating,” Mitchell said. “This is important to me not only as Mayor but also as a father. It is vital that we all work together to increase awareness about this issue and support anti-bullying efforts in October and throughout the year.”

One in five students ages 12-18 report being bullied at school during the school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.  Behaviors range from physical attacks to name calling and spreading rumors to excluding others on purpose.

“Bullying and cyberbullying impact our entire community and the effects on a child can be long lasting,” Keating said. “Families, schools and youth and adult leaders in Tempe can all be part of the solution. By working together, we can fight hate, bigotry and bullying.”

Kids who are bullied can experience serious and lasting problems, including:

  • Depression and anxiety, feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy
  • Health complaints
  • Decreased academic achievement and school participation

Experts say those who bully and those who witness bullying can also experience lasting effects, such as drug and alcohol abuse or increased mental health issues.

For more information about bullying prevention, visit www.niot.org

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