Global retailer Sears is ramping up its efforts to curb bullying this coming school year, hoping to stem a violent trend that saw 13 million children throughout the country skip school — as many as 160,000 on any given school day — due to a fear of bullies.
“Team Up To Stop Bullying” is Sears’ multi-pronged initiative and action network, a “safe haven” for students, parents and educators to seek solutions to bullying.
Concerned parties can access “Team Up To Stop Bullying” online at www.sears.com/teamup.
“Team Up to Stop Bullying provides much-needed resources to parents, children, educators and communities — and will help Americans understand that bullying is a not a normal part of childhood,” said Team Up to Stop Bullying Managing Director Marie Newman, who is also a famed anti-bullying author. “Every seven minutes a child is bullied at school, and studies show that schools with an anti-bullying program see a decrease in bullying up to 50 percent. While there isn't one fix to every bullying problem, there are solutions and services that work. Now, for the first time, there is one simple place to connect to those solutions at sears.com/TeamUp.”
Sears has partnered with a nationwide, 55-member coalition to provide tips, research and other anti-bullying measures. Boys & Girls Clubs of America, anti-bullying book publisher Hazeldon, National PTA’s “Stand For Silent,” It Gets Better Project and End To Cyberbullying are just a few of the organizations to offer anti-bullying insights.
The website has easily-accessible content, broken down into broad sections for students and victims of bullying, families and educators; there is also a section dedicated to cyberbullying. Each section contains contacts to dozens of outlets and organizations that can help with a specific problem. Team Up To Stop Bullying also provides hotline and emergency support, along with online chat forums.
To support the cause, Sears will begin selling Team Up To Stop Bullying T-shirts at its stores for $9.99, and $3.75 of each sale will go toward DonorsChoose.org to fund The Bully Project’s “1 Million Kids” program. Sears is also sponsoring a “Super Back-To-School Saturday” anti-bullying themed sale; on Saturday, August 11. Shoppers can download a one-day only savings pass which is good for 15 percent off the total sale. Sears will donate up to $70,000 from that days’ sales to its coalition of anti-bullying organizations.
Team Up To Stop Bullying has also enlisted many popular entertainers to boost the program’s visibility. Marlo Thomas, the Kardashians, George Kotsiopoulos, Kyle Massey, Jennifer Veal, Bully movie director Lee Hirsch and others.
“When you’re on the front lines of bullying it’s hard to know where to turn to find immediate solutions,” said Lana Krauter, senior vice president and president of Sears Apparel. “Sears is proud to have created Team Up to Stop Bullying to help families and communities find solutions. We’ve built a tremendous coalition of partner organizations that, like Sears, raise their hand and say that children deserve to be protected and learn in safe environments.”