Bullying: An important back-to-school conversation

When children are starting a new school year, parents often check in with them about homework, tests, and new teachers. But there’s another important back-to-school conversation parents might not think about having with their kids: bullying.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time where advocacy and outreach efforts are ramped up to raise awareness about bullying and promote education to prevent it. PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center has even outlined some key messages and talking points to help.

Although bullying has gained more media attention in recent years, it’s still a major children’s health issue that parents should be aware of. Bullying ranked fourth in this year’s NPCH Report of adults’ top 10 children’s health concerns. Bullying can cause children and teens to have trouble focusing in class, to dislike going to school, or even to fear for their lives. 

In a 2012 NPCH Report, we asked adults across the country how they define bullying and when they think schools should take action. Although persistent intentional social isolation is a dangerous form of bullying which can contribute to self-harm and outbursts of violence, just 56% of adults in this poll said it merited school action. Read the full report - Bullying: When should schools take action?

Infographic: Bullying - When should schools take action?

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The results of this National Poll on Children’s Health seem to indicate a need for more conversation around this important issue. If you haven’t checked in with your kids yet about bullying this school year, now is a great time to have the conversation.

For more information on preventing bullying, visit