Advocacy and Self-Advocacy | PACERTalks About Bullying

>>Hey there welcome back to
PACER talks about bullying. I’m Bailey we’re glad you’re here. This month we’re talking all
about advocacy and self-advocacy. Now you may be wondering what’s the deal? How does this connect to bullying prevention? Well you’re in the right place. In this week’s episode we’re going to
share a little bit more about what it means to be an advocate as well as what
it means to be a self-advocate. Let’s get into the episode. So, first let’s start with advocacy. What does it mean? Well advocacy is looking out for students
who are experiencing bullying are vulnerable to being hurt or are isolated from others. Advocates help by looking out for
these students, protecting them, and making sure that they’re included. What’s the connection between
advocacy and bullying prevention? Well advocates have the opportunity to be there
and support students who experience bullying. There’s so much power and student
support and it works for two reasons. The first is that students have the ability
usually to see bullying before adults do. Whether it’s happening in a student only
space like the locker rooms or recess. Or maybe it’s happening within social
groups where adults may not be aware of it. Students often know about bullying first and
have the opportunity to do something about it. The second is that there’s power in pure voice. Usually advice that students give to another
peer or speaking out about stopping bullying. Has more weight than if adults
were to give the same advice. Students listen to their peers
and they also have the power to set the tone of what’s acceptable at school. How can students become advocates for
peers that are experiencing bullying? The first is to look out for students who
may be vulnerable to bullying behavior, isolated, or not have a place to fit in. Invite them to sit with you at
lunch or join your group activity or even join you in a game at recess. It’s great when students have a place
where they feel like they belong. If you do see a student who
experiencing bullying, there’s a few things that you could do. If it feels safe you could help them get
away from the situation or say something to the person that’s doing
the bullying behavior. You could also let a teacher
know or privately go up to them and let them know what you saw what
happened and that it’s not their fault and that they don’t deserve to be bullied. Now that we’ve talked a little bit about
what it means to advocate for others. Let’s talk about what it means
to advocate for yourself. Self-advocacy is communicating on
your own behalf about what you need and taking action in a direct
and respectful way. The connection between self-advocacy
and bullying prevention. Is that self-advocacy empowering students
to protect themselves from bullying? Self-advocacy is such an important
skill because it allows students to be involved in the decision-making process. To say no and be okay with it. And tell others what they need to
feel safe and supported at school. There’s a few steps that students can
take towards becoming a self-advocate. The first is knowing that they have the
right to be safe and supported at school. Every state has a law or policy when
it comes to bullying prevention. So, knowing that it’s their right not
to experience hurt or harm at school. Is so empowering. The second is to express what they need. Students know best what will make them
feel safe and supported at school. So, sharing that with others
involved in the action plan is so important towards becoming a self-advocate. And the third is involving an adult. Tell this adult what you need as a student. What will make you feel safe at
school and how you want their support. And that’s all that we have
for this week’s episode. We hope you know more about what
advocacy and self-advocacy means. How it connects to bullying prevention and how students can advocate not
only for others but for themselves. Make sure to join us right back here next
week as we continue to dive into the topic. And remember together we can
create a world without bullying. See Ya!