EDGEWATER, Md. (May 25, 2011) – Today, Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown visited Central Middle School in Edgewater to highlight the school’s innovative anti-bullying program as part of Maryland’s Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. The Lt. Governor spoke to an assembly of over 350 sixth-grade students about standing up against bullying. Eighth-grade members of the school’s Bully Awareness Crew, a program developed at Central Middle School, performed dramatic bullying awareness skits that showed students what bullying looks like and how to respond when bullied.
“Bullying is not something our children have to accept as part of life, and the students and educators of Central Middle are proving that we can change perceptions about bullying at our schools,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “I encourage all Maryland schools to bring students, parents, and teachers together and develop their own programs that will help kids stand up against bullying.”
“Bullying is an important issue among young people that we, as educators, must prevent in order to maintain a safe learning environment,” said Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, Superintendent of Schools, Anne Arundel County. “The ingenuity of the students and staff at Central Middle School is a sincere testament to the strength of our school communities to put an end to this social infection that has a cure. We as adults must show and teach respect and tolerance under all circumstances and encourage our young people to speak up if they are being mistreated by anyone.”
“I am proud that Lieutenant Governor Brown has joined us in standing up against bullying in Maryland,” said First Lady Katie O’Malley. “We need to educate our children, our families and everyone in our communities about the effects of bullying. Together, we can take action to protect our children.”
Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week in Maryland is a program organized by First Lady Katie O’Malley and the Maryland State Department of Education. It is designed to encourage schools across the state to engage students in events that stress non-tolerance towards bullying. Though Maryland is the seventh state to enact an anti-bullying law that protects all students, there are still many instances of bullying throughout communities and schools. During the 2009-2010 school year in Maryland, a total of 3,318 incidents of bullying were reported, an increase of 2,132 over the previous year.
Lt. Governor Brown, Governor Martin O’Malley, and First Lady Katie O’Malley are holding events across the State this week to promote bullying awareness. Tomorrow, the Governor will travel to Urbana Middle School in Frederick County, which has one of the top bullying programs in the State.