New York, NY, May 13, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today praised the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) for its decision to study and make recommendations on how to more effectively address the problem of bullying and cyberbullying.
"Working to create safe, inclusive schools and communities is a top priority for ADL, and the involvement of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in helping to identify strategies to address bullying is a welcome development," said Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights Director. "We believe the Commission can productively complement the efforts of the Obama Administration, which has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to addressing bullying in a comprehensive and inclusive manner."
At a USCCR briefing held today in Washington, D.C. on "Federal Enforcement of Civil Rights Laws to Protect Students Against Bullying, Violence and Harassment," ADL presented testimony that:
· Provided documentation about the nature and magnitude of the problem – including the impact of bullying and cyberbullying on perpetrators, victims, and bystanders.
· Outlined the importance of a range of policy advances taken by the Department of Education and the Department of Justice under the Obama Administration – including clarification that anti-Semitism and other religious discrimination can be covered by federal civil rights law.
· Described ADL's extensive education and advocacy efforts to address bullying.
· Presented a wide range of policy and program recommendations for federal and state officials, as well as youth-oriented private corporations, such as Cartoon Network, MTV, Nickelodeon, Microsoft, AT& T and Facebook.
"USCCR has frequently played a productive role in the past in studying and collecting information about national problems involving discrimination and unfair treatment against Americans, including hate crimes and campus anti-Semitism," Ms. Lauter said. "Partnerships with federal, state, and local public agencies, non-profit, community organizations, and colleges and universities help ensure that our schools and communities are safe for all students."
ADL takes a broad, holistic approach to addressing bullying and cyberbullying, tracking the nature and magnitude of the problem, developing education and training programs, and advocating at the state and federal levels for policies and programs that can make a difference.