Parents are urged to teach their kids to speak up if they witness school bullying in new ads that target an issue that top Obama administration officials vow to make a national priority.
A long-term campaign featuring television, print and web ads was unveiled Monday and will start running in October. The campaign is a joint effort by the Ad Council, a nonprofit that distributes public service announcements, and the Free to Be Foundation, a group that includes entertainers Marlo Thomas, Alan Alda and Mel Brooks.
The ads were unveiled Monday at an annual anti-bullying summit hosted by the Department of Education in Washington, where lawmakers, educators and government officials convened to develop a national strategy aimed at ensuring a safe, healthy learning environment for students. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius addressed the summit Monday, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will deliver a keynote speech on Tuesday.
Sebelius 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. "It's a systematic situation that threatens the health and well-being of our young people. It's destructive to our communities and devastating to our future." (The Huffington Post)