It Gets Better - A Message from the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice

You will need the latest version of Adobe Flash Player exitdisclaimer to watch the video. Show Transcript

The DOJ's Civil Rights Division addresses the recent bullying and harassment of LGBT youth, and those who do not conform to gender stereotypes. The video includes personal stories from Division staff, and explains the Division's authority under federal law to protect students from harassment at school because of their race, national origin, disability, religion, and sex, including harassment based on gender stereotypes. Visit www.justice.gov/crt/edo for more information.

 

Transcript

IT GETS BETTER
>> PEREZ: My name is Tom Perez, and I am the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Justice.
Civil rights are a cornerstone of our country’s foundation. They ensure that each of us can live our lives and pursue our dreams, without discrimination.
In the Civil Rights Division, we take your safety and well-being very seriously, and we are dedicated to doing everything within our power to make this world a better and safer place for you.
As the father of three children, as an American who believes every individual deserves to live their life in peace, and as the nation’s chief enforcer of civil rights laws, I have read about the recent incidents involving students who have been bullied with great sadness and anger.
No person, whether they are straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, deserves to be tormented by bullies because they don’t fit some people’s stereotypes of how a boy or a girl is supposed to act.
If you have been targeted for harassment or bullying because of your sexual orientation, because of your gender identity or expression, or simply because your classmates see you as different, I am here to tell you that we in the Civil Rights Division will not stand for it.
Every student in this country has the right to go to school without facing threats, intimidation, or harassment.
My colleagues in the Civil Rights Division and I want you to know that you are not alone, and there are people who can help you today, including here at the Justice Department.
We made this video so you can hear some of our stories, and know that a future with endless opportunities awaits you. We also want you to know that you have a right to go to school without being harassed, and there are federal laws that protect that right. You don’t have to wait until you graduate for it to get better!
>> When I was in seventh grade, there was a group of boys that would tease me and bully me and they would laugh at me when I would speak because my voice was higher-pitched I guess than theirs was.
>> I didn’t act the way that I guess girls acted.
>> I was teased a lot growing up, actually. I felt different, I felt like an outsider, I felt like I didn’t belong.
>> The first time I recall being made fun of, or being told I acted like a girl or was a sissy, I was in third grade and I remember talking to family members, I didn’t quite understand what that meant, and I remember the question I got was, “Were you walking funny? Or did you say something

NOTE: The transcript for this program may have been compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.

Live Webcasts

stopbullying.gov live video

There are currently no StopBullying.gov/live events scheduled.

Video Gallery video icon
 

Labels can be harmful to kids. Every label sends a message that tells children how to think about themselves. Too often, these labels can be hurtful, and both positive and negative labels can cause problems.

Labels Don't Define You

March 11, 2014  

The “Be More Than a Bystander” video was one of seven finalists in the Stop Bullying Video Challenge.

Be More Than a Bystander

April 16, 2013  

The “I’ll Stand Up” video was one of seven finalists in the Stop Bullying Video Challenge.

I’ll Stand Up

April 16, 2013  

The “Be the Hero” video was one of seven finalists in the Stop Bullying Video Challenge.

Be the Hero

April 16, 2013  

The “Pablo Soberanis” video was one of seven finalists in the Stop Bullying Video Challenge.

Pablo Soberanis

April 15, 2013  

The “Break the Chain” video was one of seven finalists in the Stop Bullying Video Challenge.

Break the Chain

April 10, 2013  

Be More Than a Bystander

Be More Than a Bystander

October 17, 2012  

Ty and Jojo are told by Lance to keep off the climbing bars. Zack, who recently watched a classmate take a stand against bullying, reminds everyone that it’s important to share. Mr. Ortiz takes notice, and reinforces the message that bullying is not ok

The Playground is For Everyone

February 27, 2012  

Henry’s feelings are hurt when his classmates leave him out, ruin his artwork and call him names. Thanks to Selena, who quietly alerts the teacher, the bullying behavior is stopped. The classroom is reminded that everyone deserves respect.

Yes… That's Bullying

February 27, 2012  

Mel defends KB while playing soccer and shows Coach that they understand teamwork. Coach makes Mel the team’s captain and she picks KB to be on her team and introduces her to her other friends.

Webisode 12: Real Friends

May 09, 2011  

KB has her first day at a new school where she walks into Cassandra, a kid at school that bullies others, and gets teased in front of the class.

Webisode 1: KB's First Day

May 09, 2011  

KB tries out for the soccer team but has a hard time when Cassandra keeps trying to make her look bad in front of Coach.

Webisode 7: Soccer Tryouts

May 09, 2011  

As part of the It Gets Better Project, President Obama shares his message of hope and support for LGBT youth who are struggling with being bullied

President Obama It Gets Better

October 21, 2010