Anti-bullying Campaign Targets Parents

Starting in October of 2012, a series of print and web ads, targeting parents, will run with the message: Teach your kids to put a stop to bullying. The ads are a joint effort by the Ad Council, a non-profit that produces and distributes public service announcements, and the Free to Be…You and Me foundation.

In one television ad, debuted at the annual anti-bullying summit hosted by the Department of Education, two girls are seen bullying a schoolmate, mocking her appearance and telling her that nobody likes her. A fourth girl looks on but doesn’t intervene. “Every day, kids witness bullying,” says a narrator. “They want to help, but don’t know how. Teach your kids how to be more than a bystander.”

Online and print ads will warn parents that their kids regularly encounter negative messages such as “you’re worthless” and “everybody hates you.”
(Source: Sacramento Bee online)

The issue of bullying is one that top Obama administratiors plan to make a national priority.¬†Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius addressed the summit Monday,¬† and told the summit that suicides by teenagers and children had served as a national wake-up call. “Bullying is not just a harmless rite of passage, or an inevitable part of growing up,” Sebelius said in prepared remarks. “It threatens the health and well-being of our young people. It’s destructive to our communities and devastating to our future.”

Sebelius said school districts and states are aggressively working to quell school bullying, noting that 36 state anti-bullying laws were enacted in 2009 and 2010. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added bullying to its regular survey of risk behavior in schools.

She added that cyber-bullying has become a top concern as students increasingly communicate through social media, text messages and the Internet. “We are all responsible,” Sebelius said. “And no one can afford to be a bystander.” (Source: Sacramento Bee online)