U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and officials with the Cartoon Network have joined forces to stop bullying with Casey’s resubmission of federal legislation to prevent the hurtful tactic and the announcement of the network’s anti-bullying programming.
The group visited Warren G. Harding Middle School last week, as the network explained the merits of its nationwide “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” campaign, which includes convincing victims and bystanders to inform teachers, parents and other adult stakeholders of the bullying. Cartoon Network will buttress this initiative through broadcast programming and social media outlets. The anti-bullying campaign also boasts interactive flags that can be downloaded from www.StopBullyingSpeakUp.com.
“We’re very proud this year to join forces with Senator Casey in the national effort to help bring an end to bullying,” said Cartoon Network President and COO Stuart Snyder. “We’ve visited other schools and cities to build awareness and enlist support for the Stop Bullying: Speak Up mission, and have been greatly encouraged by the overwhelming response students, teachers and parents have shown once they realize there are proven tactics and methods that can help bring a quick end to bullying situations.
“We hope wherever the Stop Bullying: Speak Up flag might appear, young people will understand that this is a safe place where bullying behaviors will not be tolerated.”
Cartoon Network’s “Level Up” stars Connor del Rio and Aimee Carrero also made a special live appearance, encouraging students to take the pledge and raise the flag to stop bullying. They presented two new public service announcements that have started airing on Cartoon Network, featuring the two actors and other cast members from Level Up encouraging viewers to speak up against bullying in schools and communities.
According to the Cartoon Network, the Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign was launched in 2010 as a direct response to the concerns of the network’s core audience. Young people said that bullying was among the biggest problems they faced, but one where they believed they could make a difference. Cartoon Network mobilized and recruited experts in bullying prevention from academia, government, and community-based organizations to create the Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign.
Casey, long a supporter of anti-bullying measures, has introduced the comprehensive Safe Schools Improvement Act, which, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities would establish a federal definition of bullying to protect all students nationwide.
“The SSIA would call on schools and districts that receive federal funds to adopt anti-bullying policies and codes of conduct that specifically prohibit bullying or harassment on the basis of disability, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation and perceived or actual gender identity. The bill would also create stricter and more uniform policies for dealing with and preventing all forms of bullying, not just ones tied to a specific characteristic,” read an explanatory note from the NCLD. “Crucially, the Act would also mandate that states catalog and report data on bullying and harassment to the Department of Education”
On the occasion of addressing the more than 400 students attending the announcement, Casey vowed to push through the legislation that has the potential of improving their school’s ambiance.
“Bullying and harassment affect millions of students every year, so I am re-introducing the Safe Schools Improvement Act to help ensure that every child receives a quality education that builds self-confidence,” Casey said. “This bill is a crucial step toward ensuring that no child is afraid to go to school for fear of bullying. I appreciate Cartoon Network’s efforts to shine light on this important issue.”