In an effort to teach kids to be kind to one another and to reject bullying behavior, Hamilton Place will launch “Malls & Retailers Unite Against Bullying,” sponsored by Captain McFinn and Friends, on Oct. 11, at 10 am.
The public is invited to this event and is encouraged to sign the Anti-Bullying Pledge throughout the month by visiting the Tourist Information Center, on the upper level of the mall near Sears. Great American Cookies will be donating a free cookie coupon to shoppers who sign the pledge.
Malls & Retailers Unite Against Bullying was born as an extension of an ongoing program for children, based on the lessons of Captain McFinn and Friends. The stories revolve around the underwater inhabitants of the fictional world of Sand Dusty Reef. Captain McFinn, their hero, is a black-tipped reef shark who used to be a bully. However, through the example of others, he was transformed into a friend and protector. The stories teach powerful lessons about kindness, loyalty, honesty, empathy, and care for the world’s environment.
Organizers said, "Hamilton Place is participating in Bully Prevention Month to bring the Chattanooga community together and to educate people about how bullying affects all of us. We view Hamilton Place as a social hub and want to use our platform to benefit the community and end bullying. With hundreds of people coming through our doors each day, we believe we can make a difference in many lives by supporting this cause."
Studies show that bullying causes serious social and emotional problems for children, including depression, low self-esteem and anxiety. Without intervention, bullies also suffer. As adults, they commit more crimes, use more mental health services and have a higher risk of alcoholism. Recent high-profile bully cases resulting in suicide have prompted schools to adopt stronger anti-bullying policies. Still, many situations go unnoticed, falling between the cracks of the most well-meaning program.
- It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students.
- One in seven students in grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying.
- 56% of all students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school.
- Bullying can take many forms but it usually includes the following types of behavior:
- Physical – hitting, pushing
- Verbal – slurs, put downs
- Indirect – spreading rumors and exclusion
- Cyber – harassment via texting or the internet