Facebook and The White House join forces in the fight against bullying

Examiner.com wrote: As many people are aware, bullying today is not like it used to be.  Back in the day, all one had to do to turn his bully in was give the name of the person who bothered him to a trusted adult.  Today, it is not that easy.  Bullying doesn’t end at the school bell.  It follows students from the blacktop to their cell phones to their computer screens. Many times, these “cyber bullies” create fake online profiles which allow them to bully anonymously.  Kids in turn learn to fear school instead of perceiving it as a place of safety.  Consider these staggering statistics- One third of middle school and high school students report being bullied during the school year.  Almost 3 million students have said they were pushed, shoved, tripped and even spit on.  Those are only the reported incidents of bullying. It does not include the day to day bullying that goes unreported.  Bullying has also shown to lead to absences and poor performance in the classroom.

In an effort to join the fight against bullying, President Barack Obama opened a conference on Thursday on bullying and said the White House would launch a website called Stopbullying.gov.  In his speech, President Obama referred to the teasing he endured as a kid due to his big ears and funny name.  He said it is the responsibility of everyone to get involved, not only educators and parents, but also young students as well.  He said it is everyone’s responsibility to teach kids the “golden rule.” If students put the onus on them to spread the word and adults set positive examples for appropriate expected behavior, young people would have a different kind of role model to emulate.

In the same turn, Facebook launched two new safety measures that will allow members of the site to privately report content to parents, teachers and other support groups.  They also plan to re-launch the “Safety Center” that will have educational videos, articles and other online content to help adults address the bullying problem.

MTV is also joining in the fight against bullying by launching a coalition to fight bullying online along with releasing a series of advertisements to talk about the damage that is done when kids are bullied.  The Obama’s encouraged Facebook members to join in the fight against bullying, online and offline.

What can you do?  Take the pledge to stop bullying.  Educate your child about cyber bullying and teach her the importance of reporting bullying and bullying behaviors.  The responsibility is on everyone to let kids know that bullying is not ok.  It has become an epidemic that needs to be stopped.  Do yourself a favor and educate your child today.  You absolutely don’t want her to become the next victim or worse… another statistic.

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