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Obama Denounces Bullying On Cartoon Network Documentary, 'Speak Up' (VIDEO)

Posted: 03/19/2012 12:50 pm

President Barack Obama has made a special appearance in a Cartoon Network documentary in which he spoke directly to children viewers about the negative effects of bullying.

In the segment, titled "Speak Up," several children recounted their experiences on being bullied by friends and peers. Obama introduced the special, which aired on March 18, with a few words of his own.

"Bullying is not rite of passage or a harmless part of growing up. It's wrong; it's destructive, and we can all prevent it," Obama said in the introduction.

He encouraged viewers to band together to put an end to the teasing and violence.

The segment continues by featuring children like Jeremy, who have been called fat, ugly, dumb or stupid and have been excluded from activities, sometimes by the very people they trusted.

"Some kids that were saying it, I used to be friends with, and they just turned on me all of a sudden," Jeremy said in the documentary.

Jeremy, like others, recounts the dread he felt about going to school and facing his peers day after day. For some, the bullying got so bad that they desperately wanted to move to another school or city.

Obama's appearance in "Speak Up" was not the first time the president has taken a public stand against bullying. Last year, the Obamas hosted the White House Conference on Bullying where educators, experts and politicians urged individuals to join the effort to stop harassment.

On its website, Cartoon Network features an entire section dedicated to the "Stop Bullying: Speak Up" campaign, where they provide information, clips, and involvement opportunities for readers.

The "Speak Up" documentary airs just ahead of the highly acclaimed documentary "Bully," that's set to be released on March 30.

The Weinstein Co. film has garnered plenty of media attention after the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) refused to lower the documentary's rating from R to PG-13.

Katy Butler, 17, has been collecting signatures to petition the MPAA to lower the film's rating, but has had no luck in changing the association's decision. Stars such as Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep have also joined the effort to support the film.

For more on the story, watch the ABC News report above.

Via Radar Online

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Filed by Ileana Llorens  |