October was National Bully Awareness month, and MCAO, in partnership with KTAR/ Arizona Sports and the Earnhardt Auto Group, held two Bully Free AZ events in Maricopa County.
Specifically geared toward elementary school and junior high school students, the events featured a presentation by MCAO Community Affairs staff on how to identify what bullying is, how a bystander can intervene and when bullying can cross the line into a criminal act. This served as an opportunity to get the conversation started between parents and students as 1 in 4 students in grades 6-12 report being bullied.
Bullying is unwanted and aggressive behavior that is repeated and involves an imbalance of power. It requires us to start assisting with these kinds of conversations early to create a better community for the youth of Maricopa County.
At the events, parents and students were encouraged to take a Bully Free Pledge, had the chance to take their picture with Big Red and Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders and win prizes donated by the Arizona Cardinals and Harkins Theatres.
Because of the importance of the Bully Free message and the success of these events, the partners will be scheduling one a month during the school year at schools throughout the County.