Kids can be mean.
To help mitigate youth picking on one another, the National Bullying Prevention Center established October as National Bullying Prevention Month.
More than 160,000 students in the United States stay home from school every day for fear of being bullied, the National Bullying Prevention Center reported. The organization’s statistics also show that more than half of bullying situations will stop with peer intervention.
Students who are bullied are more likely to be depressed, to think about and attempt suicide, and have behavior problems and difficulty learning, .
Facing bullying with confidence is one way for kids to cope, according to KidPower TeenPower FullPower International. The organization has workshops for kids ages 5-17 across California.
The California Department of Education also offers lots of free helpful resources and publications on bullying and teaching tolerance: cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/se/bullyres.asp.
Locally, Claudio Franca Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools are offering free introductory Jiu Jitsu classes for kids of all ages during the month of October. Kids must be new students and can attend one free class per week.
“First and foremost, Jiu Jitsu teaches respect. We instill in our young students the importance of discipline and honoring our peers and authority, as well as ourselves. Self defense is secondary,” said Master Claudio Franca, a 5th-degree black belt and father of two.
The Jiu Jitsu studios are located in Santa Cruz, Watsonville, and San Jose. Children’s classes are offered on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in Santa Cruz; and Monday, Wednesday and Saturday in Watsonville and San Jose. Visit www.claudiofrancabjj.com or call (831) 476-7650 for more information.