New York, NY, March 9, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today submitted recommendations on how the U.S. government can more effectively address the issue of bullying and cyberbullying, ahead of a White House Bullying Prevention Conference on March 10.
"Bullying and harassment is a continuing problem for school districts, parents and students across the nation," said David Waren, ADL Director of Education, who will represent ADL at the conference. "The Federal government, in partnership with non-profit and community organizations, can play a critical role in ensuring that our schools and communities are safe places for all students."
ADL's recommendations offer a range of proactive strategies to confront these issues, including:
· Promote the adoption of an inclusive anti-bullying policy for schools in all states.
· Fund research into the nature and magnitude of the bullying problem in America and its impact on the social and emotional health of students and their academic achievement.
· Promote Internet media literacy – programs to help develop students' critical thinking skills for Internet, viral and wireless communications.
· Partner with community-based organizations and youth-oriented private corporations – such as Cartoon Network, MTV, Nickelodeon, YouTube, and Facebook – to promote programs and awareness of the nature and magnitude of the bullying/cyberbullying problem.
· Support inclusion of comprehensive and inclusive anti-bullying and cyberbullying initiatives as an Administration priority as Congress begins to rewrite and update the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act (ESEA).
In a letter to President Barack Obama, ADL praised the administration for convening the conference and for demonstrating a strong commitment to address bullying and cyberbullying in a comprehensive and inclusive manner.
"Federal leadership on these issues helps nurture a climate and a culture in which most members of the community are willing to condemn bigotry, bullying and harassment," ADL's letter stated.
In particular, the League cited well-crafted bullying guidance issued by the Department of Education last Fall, newly-expanded federal anti-bullying Web sites, video messages by the President and Cabinet members designed to elevate the issue and empower targets, and the work of the Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.
"ADL stands ready to partner with you as you continue to build on these initiatives and develop, fund and promote proactive strategies to confront bullying, cyberbullying and harassment in schools and communities."
ADL is a leader in developing anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying training and curriculum for teachers, parents and students. The League has developed a model state bullying prevention policy which requires schools and communities to approach the issue of bullying with proactive, responsive and responsible measures.