U.S. Education Secretary to Address Third Annual Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit

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The U.S. Department of Education will host the third annual Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit Monday – Tuesday, Aug. 6 – 7, 2012, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will deliver remarks at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7. He will highlight some of the work that has been done to prevent bullying while also challenging everyone—including schools, students, and legislators—to do more to address this issue. In addition, Duncan will discuss the need to ensure consistency in anti-bullying state laws while giving schools the flexibility to determine what works best for them.

“We continue our efforts to ensure that students have safe and healthy learning environments,” Duncan said. “But we have a long way to go and need the help of our federal partners, education leaders, schools, communities and legislators to assist in these efforts.”

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will give remarks on Monday, Aug. 6, and Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West will speak on Aug 7. Other keynotes include First Lady of Maryland Katie O’Malley and Special Assistant to the President for Education Roberto Rodriguez, who will give opening remarks at the summit. There will be a special discussion between White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Cynthia Germanotta, mother of musician Lady Gaga.

This year’s summit will kick off with discussions on “Bully,” a documentary by filmmaker Lee Hirsch that looks at the effects of bullying on five students and their families; the launch of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation; and the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice’s settlement in the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota where several students faced harassment based on their sexual orientation and gender expression. In addition, the summit will focus on ensuring that bullying prevention efforts are coordinated and based on the best available research. There will be panel discussions on the connection between bullying and suicide, and on finding ways to help students who bully others.

Since the Department’s first-ever bullying summit in 2010, 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, its federal partners, and the AD Council will release several new tools and initiatives at the summit.

This year’s summit will expand on previous years’ goals of crafting a national strategy to prevent bullying, and will work toward engaging private and public organizations committed to providing needed tools and resources to ensure the safety of students. The summit’s complete agenda can be found at http://stopbullying.gov/live/summitagenda/Summit_Agenda.pdf.

The summit is hosted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students 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.

The summit is invitation-only for the public and already at capacity. The public can view and participate in the summit via the live stream (www.stopbullying.gov/live) and Twitter –using hashtag #BullyingSummit (www.twitter.com/stopbullyinggov).

NOTE: Press coverage is welcomed at the summit. However, reporters will not be allowed in breakout sessions.