October is National Bullying Prevention Month. All month long events across the country will work to identify, and end this brutal form of verbal, physical and mental abuse for good. Bullying is something no one should have to endure. It takes away a persons self-esteem, crushes their spirit, ostracizes them from their peers, leading to depression, and sometimes even suicide. According to the Anti-Bullying Institute, bullying has become an epidemic that is no longer something that affects kids. but adults too. It's time for every state across the nation to get involved, and devise a ZERO TOLERANCE plan of action in each city and community.

According to the National Education Association, PACER Center, and StopBullying.gov the statistics on bullying is exploding in this country. During a recent study, 1 in 7 students in grades K – 12, said they are either a bully or have been a victim of it. That more than 160K kids here in the U.S. cut school to avoid being bullied by other students. When asked if their school is doing enough to stop bullying, 70% of the nations students surveyed said no. This has to improve, and ultimately stop!

Bullying takes place at home, between siblings or guardians, at school, among co-workers, and online with cyber-bullying. It's never okay to be a bully, and this behavior should always be taken seriously. Children of all ages need to know that someone has their back, when they are being bullied. It might as well be another student.

That's how the Be A Buddy, Not A Bully program came about. It's all about motivating and empowering kids to stand up, and step in, when they see a classmate being bullied. Studies show when bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time. Their motto is, "It's Not Enough To Be Compassionate, YOU MUST ACT!" The program is aimed towards helping kids find their voice, and use it best on the 3 C's: Confidence, Compassion and 20 seconds of Courage.

Saturday October 13, 2018, from 8 am- 12 noon, join the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office and entire community for a special Anti-Bulling Walk. See the flyer below for more details.

The best thing about the Be A Buddy, Not A Bully program is, the kids are really getting involved and making a difference. Like the kids who made the Be A Buddy, Not A Bully song, which was produced by Comegy's Afterschool Production. Believe it or not 4th grader, Diamond Houston, wrote and performed the song. While 7th grader, Keion Marshall, rapped the verses, and Sam Friedman went to town on toy piano.

Recorded and filmed by Howe Pearson at B.B. Comegys Elementary School in Philadelphia, PA. Using samples from Diddy, and Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five's iconic rap classic, The Message these kids are on a mission to stop bullying forever. The key is to get involved, and say Not In Our Town! If you or someone you know needs help from bullying click here, or log onto upstand.org for more details. You are important, and never alone.