The American Federation of Teachers and Cartoon Network have partnered on a new campaign to help end bullying in schools across the nation.
The “Stop Bullying: Speak Out” partnership hopes to encourage conversations between students and teachers about bullying prevention by providing educators with free resources on the topic.
Cartoon Network, alongside LG Electronics, will provide bully prevention kits, “stop bullying” comics, materials highlighting timelines and strategies, PSAs, documentaries and posters on effective ways to address bullying to educators. These materials will help students, teachers and parents begin or enhance their advocacy towards anti-bullying.
Cartoon Network has become a strong advocate against bullying, and is also partnering with CNN and Time Inc. on the issue.
“We no longer can excuse bullying as just something kids must face as a part of growing up,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a statement. “And we know that every adult in the school system- parents, teachers, principals, nurses, librarians, counselors, and others-has a role to play. The resources in the Cartoon Network bullying prevention kits will help them do that.”
President Obama has also actively pushed for awareness about bullying as well as bully prevention. In March 2010, he held the first White House Conference on Bullying Prevention, creating a hub for students educators, policy makers and advocates to discuss strategies to make schools safer.
“If there is one goal of this conference, it’s to dispel the myth that bullying is just a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up. It’s not,” said Obama in a statement.
According to StopBullying.gov, students who are bullied can experience negative symptoms such as depression, anxiety, loss in appetite, decreased academic achievement and are more likely to miss, skip or drop out of school.
The Department of Education has also issued guidance to schools and educators explaining that existing civil rights laws also apply to bullying, and schools have a moral and legal responsibility to protect students from harassment.
As the campaign pushes forward, educators and students will have the opportunity to highlight their experiences working towards ending bullying through the use of the prevention kits. Teachers who share their experiences will be considered for an opportunity to present their results with Cartoon Network and campaign creators at the American Federation of Teachers TEACH Conference this July.
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