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Maui Boy Stands Up to Bullying With Message of Aloha

Our Malika Dudley [1] interviewed a young boy who has experienced bullying here on Maui. His story is not unique, as more than 1 in 5 children experience being bullied each year, but at just six years old Lawaia Uwekoolani is wise beyond his years. The first grader is hoping to spread awareness and encourage empathy. 

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. This month, Maui Now is committed to spreading awareness by providing information and resources to those who need them. 

According to STOMP Out Bullying, the leading national nonprofit dedicated to changing the culture for all students, bullying can take on many different forms. 

Physical Bullying is the most obvious form of intimidation and can consist of kicking, hitting, biting, pinching, hair pulling, and making threats. A bully may threaten to punch you if you don’t give up your money, your lunch, etc.

Verbal Bullying often accompanies physical behavior. This can include name calling, spreading rumors, and persistent teasing.

Emotional Intimidation is closely related to these two types of bullying. A bully may deliberately exclude you from a group activity such as a party or school outing.

Racist Bullying can take many forms: making racial slurs, spray painting graffiti, mocking the victim’s cultural customs, and making offensive gestures.

Sexual Bullying is unwanted physical contact or abusive comments.

Cyberbullying is one or a group of kids or teens using electronic means via computers and mobile phones (emails, Web sites, chat rooms, instant messaging and texting) to torment, threaten, harass, humiliate, embarrass or target another kid or teen.

Whether you know the victim or not, there are things that you as a bystander can safely do to support the victim:

There is strength in numbers.  Every school and every community has more caring kids than bullies.

Becoming an Upstander looks like this:

Being an Upstander:

A study in 2001 found that more than half of bullying situations (57 percent) stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied. (Hawkins, Pepler, and Craig, 2001) 

For more resources for teachers, students, parents and community members, click on one of the links below: 

STOMP Out Bullying  [2]

StopBullying.gov [3]

PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center [4]