According to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), more than 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year, and it’s worse in the middle grades. About 90% of fourth through eighth graders report being victims of bullying.
As a martial arts school, you are in a unique position to help educate kids and teach them how to take a stand. October is National Bullying Prevention Month – a great time to get involved.
“The mere act of training in martial arts and having children develop a higher level of confidence decreases their chances of being bullied in the first place,” said Dave Kovar, Zen Planner partner and founder of Kovar Systems and Martial Artists Against Bullying (MAAB).
MAAB’s mission is “to unify the martial arts community in an effort to educate, inform and eradicate bullying.” MAAB offers free resources to martial arts schools so they can help make families aware of the problem, teach kids how to avoid being a target and learn to assertively stop bullying from happening.
Want your martial arts school to get involved? Here are six ways you can participate in National Bullying Prevention Month now.
1. Check out your resources
Visit MAAB’s website for teaching materials, course outlines and marketing materials. The site offers helpful materials for martial arts schools that want to get on board. Learn how to incorporate the anti-bullying message into your school’s mission.
2. Spread the word
Use your social media accounts to show your commitment to this important mission. You can download the MAAB membership seal to post on your social media accounts, as well as write a blog and social media content to share anti-bullying information and include anti-bullying messages in your school’s marketing materials.
3). Host an event
Use the MAAB resources to plan, market and host an open house event on topics like what is bullying, what to do if you (or your child) are being bullied and what to do if you see someone being bullied. Teach families:
- Awareness: how to identify predator behavior
- Avoidance: realistic ways to avoid being a target of bullying
- Assertiveness: how to stop bullying behavior
4. Find a program near you
Check out MAAB’s membership program and consider joining (there’s no fee). Members join a community of schools committed to the cause, and receive tools like a script for an anti-bullying seminar, anti-bullying “huddle discussions” you can incorporate into day-to-day classes and are listed on the international MAAB website.
5. Train your staff
Teach instructors the anti-bulling educational curriculum so they are prepared to weave anti-bullying education into their classes. Help them educate and empower kids to identify bulling and take appropriate action if they’re confronted with bullying.
6. Make it a year-round focus
National Bullying Prevention Month is a great opportunity for martial artists to join forces to combat bullying, but don’t stop after October ends. By making your community aware of your commitment and incorporating anti-bullying education into your martial arts school activities, you can help take a stand against bullying all year round.
Are you participating in National Bullying Prevention Month? Share how you’re incorporating this concept into your school’s curriculum.
Teaching your students how to prevent bullying adds additional value to being part of your school’s community. Looking for additional ways to add value and recruit new students? Get your copy of our free Insider’s Guide to Getting More Students.