When I helped close the third annual Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit on Tuesday, my colleagues and I gave attendees a simple charge: what are you going to do to further bullying prevention in the next year?
En la cumbre, conocimos los esfuerzos diversos e integrales de muchas organizaciones, desde la Fundación Born This Way de Lady Gaga hasta un avance de la nueva campaña de AD Council dirigida a los padres. We also heard about the continued commitment of the federal partners to find solutions to bullying through keynotes by Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Associate Attorney General, Tony West.
In each of the keynotes, panels and discussions over the course of the two-day summit, one key theme emerged: We all have a role to play to prevent bullying, but we must make sure we base our efforts on the best available knowledge, work together so we advance the field rather than reinvent the wheel, and make sure we engage youth.
Our words and messaging around bullying matter. We must work to combat indifference that sometimes leads to inaction. Even though we all want "zero-tolerance" towards bullying, we need to recognize bullying's impact on all students in a school, including those who bully. And we must consider whether exclusionary disciplinary policies could make things worse. We must work to find alternative strategies to make sure we hold those who bully accountable, that also allow those students to learn, grow and succeed.
Además, debemos esforzarnos por reconocer la gran cantidad de factores, más allá del acoso escolar, que contribuyen a los pensamientos y las conductas suicidas en los jóvenes. Speakers at the summit reminded us that recognizing the other factors that may be involved in youth suicide, and being careful how we talk about it, allows us to better help youth who may be considering it.
A través de todos nuestros esfuerzos, debemos asegurarnos de preguntar a los jóvenes implicados. Over 30 student leaders attended the summit and let us all know, they have ideas and they want to be heard. That is one of the reasons the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention announced the launch of their "Stop Bullying Video Challenge" allowing teens13-18 years-old to submit PSAs on how their peers can be "more than a bystander."
Por último, es responsabilidad de todos nosotros combatir el acoso escolar, y sinceramente espero que la cumbre de este año nos haya inspirado a todos a tomar medidas.