National Anti-Bullying Campaign Launched in Philadelphia

On Wednesday, February 20, Cartoon Network launched a national campaign to stop bullying at Harding Middle School in Philadelphia. The event was attended by US Senator Bob Casey, of Pennsylvania, who announced his re-introduction of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, a bill requiring all federally funded schools to state that bullying is unacceptable. This proposed legislation would also track incidents of bullying, and promote anti-bullying programs. Seventh grader Raina Mills, the student council president of Harding Middle School, said that she wants Harding to be bullying free, and that, “the most important thing that all of us can do is to be a friend to someone being bullied.”

The “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” program by Cartoon Network encourages students to take a stand against bullying. The campaign’s three part pledge asks students to speak up by telling an adult about the bullying they witness, being a friend to those who are bullied, and becoming involved with bullying prevention programs. At the campaign’s website, students can find videos from the television network’s actors, comics, posters, and tips on stopping bullying at their schools. The site also features resources for educators, such as a timeline for the implementation of anti-bullying programs, suggested class reading on bullying, and links to other organizations. The program is partnered with organizations such as The Boys and Girls Club of America and the GLSEN: the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network.

While Harding Middle School was the first school to officially launch their own “Stop Bullying: Speak Up,” campaign, the program began in 2011, and has since garnered over a million Facebook likes, and the endorsement of public figures from Anderson Cooper to President Obama.

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