It is important to distinguish between rude, mean and bullying so that teachers, school administrators, police, youth workers, parents and kids all know what to pay attention to and when to intervene.
Athletes are perfectly positioned on high school campuses to help stop bullying when it starts.
I met Christopher Rim, the founder and president of an anti-bullying awareness organization called It Ends Today about a year before Lady Gaga did. His group's message is startlingly simple: Students listen more to their peers than adults.
I encourage new members to join me in the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus and continue to build further coalitions with our youth, communities, educators and elected officials as we address and diminish this issue.
Recognizing the need to include LGBTQ identities in school approaches to diversity and inclusion is an important step forward in making schools more welcoming places, but some of the patterns in these efforts are troubling despite their good intentions.
My transgender daughter said recently that "stories move the walls that need to be moved." I hope that our Transgender Remembrance Day story will help others begin to "move the walls that need to be moved."
By the early school years, most youngsters have experienced unspoken -- but not unsubtle -- acts of social aggression that shake the carefully laid foundations of their self-image and beliefs about friendship.
My 5-year-old daughter has Leukemia. She was diagnosed when she was 4 and lost all of her hair from the chemo. She was out of school for nine months and finally was able to go to Kindergarten this past September. Knowing how mean kids can be, I was scared to death to send her.
This is the Christian response to bullying. It is one that will move us to forgive our bullies and ourselves, and wait with peace for the next chapter in our lives.
Gay-straight alliances enhance academic environments by decreasing bullying, increasing academic achievement and promoting social justice and respect for others. Students who participate in GSAs are less likely to drop out of school and more likely to enroll in college.
Most of us shared about the creation within ourselves of our own receptive self-bully. That bully is the most dangerous. Our self-bully says that we actually deserve the abuse they are doling out. But the bullies are wrong. All of them. And the bully within is the wrongest.
Six years ago, 13-year-old Steven Urry hanged himself in his bedroom closet after being tormented by bullies.
Bullying is not an issue unique to the LGBTQ community, or one that can be addressed solely by ourselves. We have much work left to do, and today we reaffirm our commitment to do it. I am proud to be one of many wearing purple today on behalf of the effort to end bullying everywhere.
My family has been bullied by anti-gay activists who want to take the protection and the promise of marriage away from my moms. Were it not for our allies, I might not have had the strength to stand up and speak out in support of my family back in January 2011.
We need an administration that takes our children's lives and educations seriously, not just as a matter of proclaimed policy, painted in broad strokes and useful as a sound bite in a debate, but as an issue that is essentially and deeply personal, as much as it is political.
This time of year can be especially challenging for many school-age youth. Ally Week is a good time to commit to making it easy for the young people in our lives to ask for help and letting them know that asking for help is good and should be celebrated as courageous.