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Be BRAVE Against Bullying
The UFT's BRAVE campaign aims to combat bullying in our schools. Short for Building Respect, Acceptance and Voice through Education, the BRAVE campaign provides educators with the tools, knowledge and support to be pro-active in confronting and stopping bullying.
Bullying is a widespread problem. It takes many forms, from verbal name-calling and teasing and spreading rumors to physical intimidation and assault and cyberbullying. Bullies pick on victims because of their race, ethnicity, religion, actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender expression, appearance, size, disability, or just because a kid is different or vulnerable and an easy target. LGBT youth are at particular risk; 85% of them experience verbal harassment at school and 40% have been physically harassed.
Bullying is not a harmless phase some kids go through or a normal part of growing up. It has serious, harmful consequences — for victims, for bullies and for school communities. Bullying negatively affects a school’s atmosphere and disrupts the learning environment; it depresses academic outcomes and harms morale for students, teachers and other staff alike. Kids who are bullied miss more school days, have lower grades and higher drop-out rates and suffer higher rates of physical and mental health problems. Kids who bully have higher drop-out rates, are more prone to substance abuse problems and are more likely to end up with criminal convictions.
The BRAVE campaign provides an array of resources and tools for educators to make a positive difference in their schools. The union is offering a series of workshops for UFT members. There is online help available, from background information to lesson plans — see our Resources page.
The BRAVE campaign also provides a hotline (212-709-3222, M-F 2:30-9:30 p.m.) for students — a safe place they can call — and we want to make sure that students know they have allies in their schools. We have stickers and bookmarks for UFT members to make the BRAVE campaign visible to students.
- Be a visible ally in your school. Wear a BRAVE button. Hand out BRAVE bookmarks to students. Hang a BRAVE flyer on your door. Ask your Chapter Leader how to get buttons and bookmarks. Download the flyer here: English version, Spanish version.
- Be vocal and intervene when you see bullying happening.
- Come to a workshop: contact the safety rep in your UFT borough office for information on the next workshop. (Parents: talk to your parent and community liaison.) Check out the online resources.
- Print out a BRAVE poster and hang it in your school.
- Download the BRAVE Anti-Bullying Resource Guide.
- "Like" the BRAVE page on Facebook and follow the campaign on Twitter for timely updates.