Third Annual Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit
Recently, the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention convened a summit to highlight some of the work that has been done to prevent bullying while also challenging everyone—including schools, and students—to do more to address this issue.
This year’s summit expanded on previous years’ goals of crafting a national strategy to prevent bullying, with a goal of engaging private and public organizations committed to providing needed tools and resources to ensure the safety of students. The summit began with discussions on the movie, “Bully” – a documentary by filmmaker Lee Hirsch, which looks at the effects of bullying on five students and their families; the launch of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation; and the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice’s settlement in the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota, where several students faced harassment based on their sexual orientation and gender expression. In addition, there were panel discussions on ensuring that bullying prevention efforts are coordinated and based on the best available research; disconnecting the connection between bullying and suicide; and, on finding ways to help students who bully others. Since the first-ever bullying summit in 2010, significant efforts have been made by both the public and private sectors to bring attention to bullying and the challenges of addressing it.
During the summit, the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention released several new tools and initiatives at the summit, including:
- A PSA video contest for youth ages 13-18 to show how they are being more than a bystander. Find out how to join the challenge and watch Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s announcement for the contest
- New Bullying Prevention Training Modules, which are research-based resources and can help lead bullying prevention efforts in local communities that include:
Both the U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gave keynote speeches. Other keynote speakers included Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West, First Lady of Maryland Katie O’Malley, and Special Assistant to the President for Education Roberto Rodriguez, who gave opening remarks at the summit. There was also a special discussion between White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Cynthia Germanotta, mother of musician Lady Gaga.
“We continue our efforts to ensure that students have safe and healthy learning environments,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. “But we have a long way to go and need the help of our federal partners, education leaders, schools, communities and legislators to assist in these efforts.”
The summit was hosted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students in conjunction with the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Defense, Agriculture, the Interior, the Federal Trade Commission, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the National Council on Disability.
The summit’s complete agenda can be found at http://stopbullying.gov/live/summitagenda/Summit_Agenda.pdf.
The Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention is comprised of the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of the Interior, Department of Defense, National Council on Disability, White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Federal Trade Commission.