In anticipation of tomorrow's summit on bullying held at the White House, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama recorded a new Facebook video about the responsibility we all share in preventing bullying. President Obama addresses the harmful consequences of bullying, especially in light of the constant exposure young people face today with the use of cell phones and social media. He also discusses bullying as a growing concern among teenagers to change what has been seen for a long time as something unavoidable.
"It's tough enough being a kid today, and our children deserve the chance to learn and grow without constantly being picked on, made fun of, or worse," says First Lady Michelle Obama. The acknowledgment and concern regarding bullying by the White House has led to an initiative called StopBullying.gov, a government managed website that serves to provide resources to students and find solutions to reduce bullying among children. A section of the website is dedicated to LGBT youth and acknowledges that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students are bullied at higher rates than their peers. In October, President Obama addressed LGBT youth in a video to encourage them to reach out to others when in crisis.
Tomorrow's initiative is a step in the right direction to discuss the growing awareness of the struggles faced by students all over the country. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama invited students, teachers and community leaders to discuss bullying and to try to find solutions to reduce the growing harassment students face. Throughout the day, the White House will be streaming live video of the conference and will be holding chat sessions. Questions can be submitted ahead of time here, and a live Facebook chat will he hosted here.
In October 2010, Facebook partnered with GLAAD and other national LGBT organizations to create “Network of Support,” an educational initiative that works to combat anti-LGBT cyberbullying. The Network of Support is comprised of LGBT advocacy organizations, including GLAAD, GLSEN, HRC, PFLAG and The Trevor Project, in conjunction with MTV’s “A Thin Line” campaign.