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  • Posted: February 24, 2014
    A multi-cultural adoptive family

    It is the rare adopted child who has not received questions and comments about adoption. They come from people who know them or from complete strangers:

    “Do you know anything about your ‘real’ parents?” “Why were you adopted?” “Do you want to find your ‘real’ parents?” or “How come you don’t look like your parents?”   

    Some people ask adopted kids questions because they are being friendly or curious. Most are unaware of the embarrassment and pain their questions or comments may cause. Other kids may intentionally attempt to tease or bully an adopted youth. Their comments can be painful. These questions often go right to the heart of adoptees’ self-concept and self-esteem, challenging who they are and where they belong.  This may mirror the exact questions that adopted children may be pondering... Continue Reading

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  • Posted: February 19, 2014

    Last weekend, the Human Rights Campaign, in partnership with the National Education Association and American Counseling Association, hosted the first-ever “Time to Thrive” conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference brought together hundreds of educators, school administrators, coaches, social workers, mental health providers, and other youth development staff for a conversation about promoting safety, inclusion, and well-being among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

    Since taking office, President Obama and his Administration have taken significant steps to advance equality for the LGBT community – including addressing and preventing bullying and harassment of LGBT young people in classrooms and communities around the country. That’s why I was proud to moderate a panel discussion with colleagues from the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture to highlight some of the bullying prevention and youth empowerment resources available across the federal government. Continue Reading

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  • Posted: August 23, 2013
    A teacher talks to her class.

    As Secretary Duncan has noted, the Department of Education is committed to making sure that all of our young people grow up free of fear, violence, and bullying. Bullying not only threatens a student’s physical and emotional safety at school, but fosters a climate of fear and disrespect, creating conditions that negatively impact learning—undermining students’ ability to achieve to their full potential. Unfortunately, we know that children with disabilities are disproportionately affected by bullying.

    Factors such as physical vulnerability, social skills challenges, or intolerant environments may increase the risk of bullying. Students who are targets of bullying are more likely to experience lower academic achievement, higher truancy rates, feelings of alienation, poor peer relationships, loneliness, and depression. We must do... Continue Reading

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  • Posted: July 30, 2013
    Kids at play

    Its summertime! School’s out and there is a good chance that your kids will be spending some time at summer camp.  Whether its sports camp, adventure camp, music camp, or any of the other amazing arrays of camps available to kids these days, most camps are equipped to understand and address bullying.  As parents and caretakers, here are some tips to help have a conversation with your child and with camp staff if you suspect bullying may be taking place.

    Find out about camp policies on bullying:

    Ask the camp director and counselors about the procedures that are in place and how parents are informed. Ask how camps proactively address the issue. Ask how campers are supervised between activities.

    Talk to your kids:

    Discuss bullying with your child and keep those communications lines open!... Continue Reading
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  • Posted: March 19, 2013
    A group of teens harrass a young woman.

    Most experts acknowledge that bullying is a serious problem that has negative consequences for both perpetrators and victims. However, we know very little about how bullying early in life affects future behaviors.

    Several years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began a partnership with researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign to better understand how bullying may lead to sexual violence. When we say “sexual violence,” we are talking about one specific type, sexual harassment, which does not include forcible acts like rape. Continue Reading

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  • Posted: December 20, 2012

    Our recent Stop Bullying Video Challenge and our ongoing Ad Council “Be More than a Bystander” campaign are helping to promote the message that it is up to all of us to stand up against bullying, even if we are not personally involved.

    Newly published research in Children and Youth Services Review shows just how important being the one who stands up is in encouraging others to do the same.... Continue Reading

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  • Posted: November 6, 2012
    Klukwan Village Choose Respect March

    November is Native American Heritage Month. Across the country native communities are celebrating their heritage. I’d like to tell you about a project that I work with that is addressing the issue of bullying and is making a lasting impact on one community.

    The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Domestic Violence Prevention Program is a project funded by the Indian Health Service (IHS) Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI).

    As a health educator for the project, I see bullying, and other aggressive behaviors, in our schools, playgrounds, workplace and homes. It affects everyone in the community. Through education and raising awareness, we are engaging our communities to prevent bullying and other types of abuse.

    Our surrounding communities include the Alaska... Continue Reading

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