October is Bullying Prevention Month. It is not OK to ignore bullying at school, at work or at home. All of us have a social responsibility to stop it and to build a culture of mutual respect and safety.

We can end bullying if we start by teaching children to respect people who are different. Bullying is violence even if only words are used.

Over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year, and many suffer depression, poor school performance and attendance, and low-self-esteem.

Excellent resources to stop bullying are available by following this link.

It’s important to remember that the person who bullies is a victim, too. Something has happened to cause this behavior and new ways to express feelings can be learned.

Witnesses have a social responsibility to speak up. They often do not because of fear of becoming a victim. When they do not speak up, they feel guilt, sadness and fear. The negative atmosphere caused by bullying can lower morale for the entire student body or a workplace.

Counseling & Recovery Services of Oklahoma is a Sanctuary Community with a culture of mutual respect and safety and a commitment to nonviolence, democracy, social responsibility, social learning, open communication, emotional intelligence, and growth and change. These commitments shape the way we treat one another and the trauma-informed care received by our clients.

Sarah Mahan  represents our agency on Tulsa’s Anti-Bullying Collaboration. This group is co-sponsoring “Protecting Our Future,” a seminar to prevent gun violence from occurring in our schools,” at 3:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Jenks Central Campus, 205 E. B. St., Building 6 Auditorium. Register to attend online at preventbullyingtulsa.org.

Our agency has excellent resources for victims of bullying, people who bully, and witnesses affected by bullying. For more information, contact 918.492.2554 or info@crsok.org.