By SALINA POST
October is National Bullying Prevention Month and Child Advocacy and Parenting Services (CAPS) is doing its part to spread awareness of the need to replace bullying behavior with kindness.
CAPS is home to the Bullying Prevention education program that visits elementary and middle school classes in the surrounding area.
Stopbullying.gov reports bullying prevention approaches that involve the entire school community show the most promise in creating spaces of safety and respect.
CAPS Bullying Prevention uses strategies to strengthen targets and witnesses to use their power to end bullying. The goal is to empower students to use empathy and reconciliatory justice with their peers. CAPS Bullying Prevention encourages youth to replace bullying with positive behaviors and actions.
Additionally, CAPS is joining forces with DVACK for a Speak Night at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at Ad Astra Books & Coffee House, 141 N. Santa Fe Avenue. Participants can speak out against bullying and violence with a story, poetry, song or other five-minute performance. To sign up, email Lora Kirmer at [email protected].
CAPS also encourages people to flood their social media feeds with acts of kindness as a part of the CAPS Kindness Challenge.
Each Monday, a new challenge is posted on the CAPS Facebook and Instagram, encouraging people to take a picture while completing the challenge. Find CAPS at:
@capsofsalina on Twitter and Instagram
Post your picture with #SpreadKindness and tag CAPS. Posts will be entered into a drawing to win a “kindness kit” at the end of the month.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, one out of every five students reported being bullied either in person or online in 2019. The 2021 Kansas Communities That Care Survey data showed a rise in cyberbullying among Kansas students during the 2020-2021 school year. Students who experience bullying are at an increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation or difficulties and lower academic performance (Center for Disease Control, 2019). The effects of bullying on all youth, including those who bully others and those who witness bullying, may continue into adulthood.