Starting today, you can join a powerful anti-bullying campaign that truly has the potential to change lives and make our children safe from bullying. It's the "Stop Bullying: Speak Up" campaign and pledge.
As someone who has been critical of anti-bullying campaigns in the past, I have gotten behind this campaign and I want to tell you why. In a world where all of us tend to grab onto a story for a moment and then forget about it in the next news cycle, the Stop Bullying, Speak Up Campaign is harnessing the power and reach of Time Warner and Facebook to keep this issue up front and center.
The campaign begins with asking adults and children to sign a pledge that challenges all of us to specifically take responsibility for stopping bullying in our communities. From there, the campaign expands through programming on Cartoon Network, CNN, People magazine, and Facebook. This is a dream come true for me: companies that have the ability to truly make a difference on this issue working collaboratively with experts in the field to truly encourage the country to address bullying in substantive, wide-spread ways.
Last year, you may have seen me on the Town Hall meeting Anderson Cooper 360 hosted. It was a great show. Children, teens, parents, educators, and experts came together to show the true face and impact of bullying. But as soon as the show was over, the Anderson Cooper producers told me they wanted to do more.
They were true to their word. October 2011 will be filled with programming on this issue across many Time Warner shows. On October 9th and 14th, CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 in partnership with Facebook and Time Warner, will broadcast the second town hall meeting from Rutgers University. In preparation, Anderson Cooper's team has worked with Robert Faris, the Research Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, who will unveil a major new study. In addition, more children will be involved; including several from Anoka Hennepin, Minn. who are suing their school district for its "neutrality" policy that forbids teachers from talking about bullying prevention efforts in regards to gay students.
Check your local listings for channels.
October 9th and 14th 8PM EST.
If you are someone who cares about the safety of all children, I hope you will take a few minutes to read and sign this pledge.