Cynthia Leonor Garza
NEW YORK—The American Federation of Teachers launched its new national “See a Bully, Stop a Bully: Make a Difference” campaign to combat bullying, at the Celebration of Teaching and Learning conference today in New York. As part of the campaign, the AFT created blue wristbands and posters featuring the campaign slogan, “See a Bully—Stop a Bully,” which will be distributed widely in schools across the country.
“When students see their teachers or anyone wearing the blue wristband, it will serve as a signal to students that they are not alone, that school is a safe haven, and that they can turn to and depend on their educators to deal with bullying or harassment,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “Schools should be places where students feel safe and can thrive without the fear of taunts or humiliation. It is time to stop excusing bullying as ‘kids will be kids.’ ”
The “See a Bully, Stop a Bully: Make a Difference” campaign is aimed at raising awareness and providing resources and training to educators, students, parents and others. The AFT will be bolstering the educator training it has provided for years to combat bullying in schools, and will work with others to ensure that schools are safe environments for students and staff. The AFT also will be partnering with GLAAD on a bilingual, youth-focused public service announcement campaign called “Amplify Yourself!” which will touch on various issues including bullying based on sexuality or gender identity. The television PSAs are set to be released nationwide during the 2011 back-to-school season.
The AFT also has established an online collection of resources, downloadable materials and links to partner organizations on the AFT website, and will host a series of webinar trainings and regional conferences on bullying in the upcoming months.
“Bullying has become a constant reality for our children in this age of the Internet. We must do all we can to work together as parents, school officials, school staff, community leaders, nonprofit and private groups, and especially other students, to make it clear that we will not tolerate bullying and will do everything we can to prevent it,” Weingarten said. For more information about the campaign or how to order the wristbands or posters, visit www.aft.org/bullying.