Federal Partners will Come Together at Second Annual Summit to Discuss Continued Strategies for Combating Bullying

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The U.S. Department of Education will host the second annual Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 21 – 22, at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. This year’s goals are to engage government and nongovernmental partners in discussing the implications and impacts of last year’s efforts and to identify the next steps for continued progress in combating bullying. Keynotes by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez will reaffirm the Administration’s commitment around the issue of bullying.

Since the department’s first-ever bullying summit last year, considerable effort has been made by both the public and private sectors to bring attention to bullying and the challenges of addressing it. The U.S. Department of Education and its federal partners have been involved in several initiatives that will be discussed at the summit.

The invitation-only summit is hosted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools in conjunction with the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Defense, Agriculture, the Interior, the Federal Trade Commission, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the National Council on Disability. Attendees will include 175 leaders of corporate and non-profit organizations, researchers, school personnel, parents, and students. This year’s summit will expand on last year’s goal of crafting a national strategy to prevent bullying, and will work towards engaging private and public organizations committed to providing needed tools and resources to ensure the safety of students.

The first day of the summit will feature two panels discussing the use of media to inform bullying prevention efforts. Campaigns from Seventeen Magazine and ABC Family Channel, as well as the launch of a new Ad Council campaign sponsored by AOL, TimeWarner and Facebook, will be discussed. In addition, a performance by the Michigan-based Trust Theater Ensemble of the Bullycide Project will highlight the importance of youth-led story-telling in addressing bullying. There also will be a panel discussion on the need for more research-based efforts and quantitative evaluations to measure the effectiveness and impact of anti-bullying efforts.

The second day will feature a discussion with several individuals whose family members’ suicides were attributed, in part, to bullying. A session focusing on the barriers to addressing bullying in several different populations will include a discussion with students on how best to prevent and address bullying.

A full agenda will be posted next week on the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools’ news site: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osdfs/news.html.