School Climate & Safety

White House Eye Again on Bullying

By Nirvi Shah — March 15, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

For a second time in less than a year, the White House last week put the spotlight on what it believes has become an epidemic for American school children: bullying.

President Barack Obama gathered about 150 parents, teachers, bullying victims, researchers, and staff from his education, health and human services, technology, and other departments at the White House March 10 to have frank conversations and generate fresh ideas for dealing with the problem—one he said he dealt with as a child.

“With big ears and the name that I have, I wasn’t immune,” he said.

He unveiled a new website, stopbullying.gov, that offers advice and guidance for kids, parents, teachers, and community members. In addition, his staff said they have new partnerships with MTV and Facebook to counter bullying. The latter was used during the day-long conference as a platform to field questions from all over the country about bullying.

The MTV network, a favorite among teenagers, will lead a new coalition to fight bullying online, the president said, and launch a series of ads to talk about the damage done when kids are bullied.

And Facebook said it will add two new safety features in the next few weeks: a redesigned safety center with expert resources and information for teenagers and a social reporting system that will allow members to report content that violates Facebook policies so it can be removed and parents and teachers notified.

The father of Ty Field, an 11-year-old Oklahoman who committed suicide last year after being bullied and then being suspended when he stood up for himself, said the essential lessons schools must teach include four R’s, not three.

“Reading, writing, ’rithmetic—and respect,” the father, Kirk Smalley, said.

In recent days, several national education groups, including both national teachers unions, the national PTA, and others have offered their own anti-bullying initiatives. And on March 8, Sens. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, and Mark Casey, a Republican from Illinois, reintroduced a bill that would create the Safe Schools Improvement Act.

A version of this article appeared in the March 16, 2011 edition of Education Week as White House Eye Again on Bullying

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls
Science K-12 Essentials Forum How To Teach STEM Problem Solving Skills to All K-12 Students
Join experts for a look at how experts are integrating the teaching of problem solving and entrepreneurial thinking into STEM instruction.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Modernizing Principal Support: The Road to More Connected and Effective Leaders
When principals are better equipped to lead, support, and maintain high levels of teaching and learning, outcomes for students are improved.
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety 'We Beg You. Do Something': Principals Who Lived Through Shootings Plead for Action
"We are members of a club that no one wants to join."
1 min read
A woman kneels as she pays her respects in front of crosses with the names of children killed outside of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 26, 2022. Law enforcement authorities faced questions and criticism Thursday over how much time elapsed before they stormed the Texas elementary school classroom and put a stop to the rampage by a gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers.
A woman kneels in front of crosses with the names of children killed in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Despite the outrage and anguish over the killings of 19 children and 2 teachers by a gunman armed with an AR-15-style rifle, there's deep skepticism that state or federal lawmakers will enact new restrictions on guns.
Dario Lopez-Mills/AP
School Climate & Safety Onlookers Urged Police to Charge Into Texas School
“Go in there! Go in there!” women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, according to a witness.
6 min read
People walk with flowers to honor the victims in Tuesday's shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
People walk with flowers to honor the victims in Tuesday's shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Jae C. Hong/AP
School Climate & Safety How Much Trauma Can Our Schools Withstand?
Despite a cascade of tragedy, educators report to work and care for our children. How do they get through it?
5 min read
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Billy Calzada/The San Antonio Express-News via AP
School Climate & Safety 'This Could Be Our School': Educators Grapple With Anger and Loss After Uvalde Shooting
While some students seemed blissfully unaware of the Texas school shooting, some educators worried about their safety.
Three and 4-year-old students in Kim Manning's early childhood education class at Traylor Academy in Denver, Colo., listen to a discussion about school safety on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, after the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Three and 4-year-olds in in an early-childhood class at Traylor Academy in Denver listen to a discussion about school safety after the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Courtesy of Kim Manning Ursetta