White House Tackles Bullying Issue

Today, the White House and President and First Lady held a conference on bullying prevention. This is a major step in the United States recognizing that bullying is a larger problem than just kids being kids.

Held in the East Room of the White House, 150 anti-bullying activists in the form of students, parents, teachers, and activists were invited to attend a session to help find solutions to the ongoing issues of bullying. Michelle Obama addressed the crowd, taking a personal stand on the issue.

“As parents, this issue really hits home for us.  As parents, it breaks our hearts to think that any child feels afraid every day in the classroom, or on the playground, or even online. It breaks our hearts to think about any parent losing a child to bullying, or just wondering whether their kids will be safe when they leave for school in the morning.”

President Obama told of his own experience, showing that even a president of the United States is not immune to the issue of bullying.

“As adults, we all remember what it was like to see kids picked on in the hallways or in the schoolyard,” the President said. “And I have to say, with big ears and the name that I have, I wasn’t immune.  I didn’t emerge unscathed. . .Because (bullying is) something that happens a lot, and it’s something that’s always been around, sometimes we’ve turned a blind eye to the problem. We’ve said, ‘Kids will be kids.’ And so sometimes we overlook the real damage that bullying can do, especially when young people face harassment day after day, week after week.”

The White House estimates that about 1/3 of all schoolchildren are bullied each year. In order to help fight bullying, the White House created stopbullying.gov, a new website that they hope will be a place to get advice and support.

President Obama went on to discuss the issue of victim suicide from bullying, pointing out directly two victims, Ty Field and Carl Walker-Hoover. He went on to say:

“We’ve got to make sure our young people know that if they’re in trouble, there are caring adults who can help and young adults that can help; that even if they’re having a tough time, they’re going to get through it, and there’s a whole world full of possibility waiting for them”.

It is extremely beneficial to have the support of the top of the U.S. Government as solutions are found to the problem of bullying. Hopefully this is the beginning of a process of top down support for the victims of bullying and active solution studies and bullying prevention. I applaud the President and First Lady for taking the time to address this issue for a day.

The stopbullying.gov website has created materials for download online to help victims of bullying. You can download and receive these materials by going to: http://www.stopbullying.gov/references/index.html

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About Alan Eisenberg

Alan Eisenberg is a Certified Life Coach, Bullying Recovery activist and author of "A Ladder In The Dark: My journey from bullying to self-acceptance" and "Crossing the Line". He has been writing and speaking to various audiences about the issue of C-PTSD and Bullying Recovery. Mr. Eisenberg has been featured on several print, radio shows and podcasts on this issue, including NPR and in the Boston Globe. He is currently working toward his Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling.
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  1. Joining forces with the TREVOR PROJECT on their “WHOOSH TO BULLYING” Campaign, ONE THURD are passionate advocates who aren’t afraid to take a stand. You can check out ONE THURD’s “Whoosh (Be Gone)” music video directed by the Fat Cats on http://www.mizayentertainment.com or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOPIduZWHYk .

  2. Nowadays bullying can happen anywhere and because the internet is becoming a main source of communication it is also becoming a main cause of bullying! It saddens me to think that above all the pressures of being a young student and learning to adjust to the overwhelming pressures of everyday life such as school work, finding a source of income, applying to collages, peer pressure, and to top it off trying to fit in the stereotype of “cool”. To me being “cool” consists of being different, unique and having the potential of standing up for what is right and not settling for what may be “cool” at that moment. In a young mind it is very common to do things on impulse unaware that serious consequences can accrue down the road. For me it was always very important to consider other peoples feelings and when being a witness to bullying never allowing it to reach its full potential. During high school I witnessed many bullying incidents and made it clear that these victims have feelings and different intentions and we need to learn to accept people for who they are because America was built on diversity and freedom of expressing oneself so who are “you” to speak upon someone else’s looks, clothes, friends, personality, or love interest? Like a snowflake NO two people are alike so lets learn to embrace the beauty in being different!

    If anyone is being a victim of bullying please know there is help! Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem! and remember “10 years from now it wont matter the shoes you wore or the friends you had what will matter is the person you become!”

    logon to http://www.lexzpryde.com to download my song ‘Perfect Creation’ today and help spread the word!

  3. It is great that the federal government is addressing this issue on a national scale. Though many efforts are taken in local, city, and state governments, the fact that the president himself is acknowledging this as a certain kind of “epidemic” stresses the concern for the problem.

    The White House estimates that about 1/3 of all schoolchildren are bullied each year

    This number is astounding, because of the very real and negative impact bullying has on the development of a child’s or teenager’s confidence and character. Hopefully this movement will begin to dissolve the cycle of self-esteem deprecation.

  4. Boston’s Michael and Marisa Take on Bullying with their new song & video,”The Same” Kids Can Help Kids. http://www.opednews.com/articles/Boston-s-Michael-and-Maris-by-Patricia-Duffey-110202-336.html
    They hope their song reaches bullies and those unfairly being bullied…”If our song causes even one bystander to take a stand, that one action could be the start of a chain of events that could help to stop bullying

  5. Commentary…

    “Bull About Bullying,” by Thomas Sowell, National Review, 19 APR 11

  6. Pingback: White House Tackles Bullying Issue | Bullying Help

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