By Gordon Clay

October is bullying prevention month. We support the belief that every child deserves to receive an education in a safe environment.

Nationally, more than 20 percent of students report being bullied. For Curry County in the 30 days before the 2016 Oregon Student Wellness Survey, 53 percent of sixth graders, 57 percent of eighth graders and 39 percent of 11th graders agreed.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts.

Bully victims are between two to nine times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims.

One out of 10 students drop out of school because of repeated bullying

At least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying

Every 30 minutes a teenager attempts suicide due to bullying.

Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75 percent of school-shooting incidents.

Nationally, more than 14 percent of high school students seriously considered suicide in 2016. In Curry County it was 19.6 percent of sixth graders, 22.4 percent of eighth graders and 22.0 percent of 11th graders.

Nationally, almost 7 percent attempted suicide. In Curry County it was 8.7 percent for sixth graders, 10.7 of eighth graders and 10.1 percent of 11th graders.

Beyond the peer pressure not to snitch and adolescent cynicism, adults matter. If our kids see us treat people with dignity, if we are outspoken about our respect for people who come forward, if we are honest with how scary reporting can be but assure them that we will be with them throughout the process, our kids will find the courage to speak out and move from being bystanders to become upstanders. Learn more at

The end of bullying begins with you.


Gordon Clay of Brookings is a suicide prevention advocate. His organization can be reached at