On Thurs., March 10, 2011, the White House will host a bully prevention session. The President, First Lady Michelle Obama, the Department of Education and Department of Human Services will bring together students, teachers, parents and community leaders to discuss ways to stop bullying.
Bullying affects every young person in America.
According to the National Crime Prevention Council, online bullying is an issue that affects almost half of all American teens. Also, a study by the Cyberbullying Research Center stated that 20 percent of middle-school students admitted to "seriously thinking about attempting suicide" as a result of online bullying.
In recent months, cyberbullying has become a serious issue. Several young adults have committed suicide after being bullied because they were gay or perceived to be gay.
Some parents of children who have killed themselves because of bullying want Congress to enact a national law ordering schools to adopt anti-bullying policies.
For example, Sirdeaner Walker, whose 11-year-old son killed himself two years ago after enduring anti-gay slurs, said "It's important for the President to weigh in on this because this is a national health crisis facing our children."
Walker, who will attend the White House conference stated, "We've always looked to the federal government for leadership in civil rights, and we need to look to the federal government now."
The full conference schedule is online at www.stopbullying.gov.
Throughout the day, the White House will air live video. During the live video feed, there will be online chats. During the chats, you can ask questions and discuss bullying with industry experts.
Also, Susan Swearer, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln associate professor of school psychology will join a panel of researchers to share her expertise on the causes of and solutions to bullying.
Swearer developed an anti-bullying program called Target Bullying Intervention. The program focuses on getting to the bottom of the bully’s behavior and what they can do to change it.