October is National Bullying Prevention Month and all of us in leadership roles in Scouting can help prevent, recognize and report bullying as we work to make Scouting a safe place for all.
This month, the “Bryan on Scouting” blog has shared four important stories on how all leaders can be more vigilant about preventing bullying. I found all four stories to be very helpful and underscored the importance for everyone, from Scouts, to Scouters and parents, to not stand idly by when bullying does occur.
If you haven’t already read each story, here are links to each one:
- The BSA is a safe place for all
- Encouraging Scouts to move from bystander to upstander
- What to do when bullying becomes serious
- Concerns for risk of harm and suicide
Even with all the different anti-bullying initiatives that are currently offered in our schools, bullying remains a concern for youth-serving organizations, including Scouting, and our council is not exempt from instances of bullying either. This past summer was one of the busiest periods I can recall in 20 years as a Scout Executive in fielding requests for assistance from the council in dealing with bullying situations in our units.
For the Scouting program to have the desired positive impact on our youth members, that can only occur when each Scout feels safe at all meetings and outings, free from bullying and hazing situations. Sometimes, we’re not sure how to handle bullying when we see or hear it happening in or out of Scouting. The four stories I’ve shared above do a great job in helping provide knowledge and guidance to help each of us handle bullying appropriately and help the BSA be the safe and rewarding environment that our parents expect and our youth members deserve.