On Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention hosted the fifth Federal Bullying Prevention Summit at the U.S. Department of Education. Conducted every two years, this year’s theme was “Keeping Kids Safe: Promoting Tolerance and Inclusion Among Students to Prevent Bullying.”
Senior officials from the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice welcome participants and highlight the work done by the Federal government under the leadership of the Obama Administration. They all emphasized that while a lot of progress has been made there is still more to be done to ensure safe and supportive learning environments for all students.
Attendees from the public, private and non-profit sectors participated in plenary sessions focused on recent research recommendations and school surveillance, the federal and legal responses to harassment and bullying, using the school operations plan framework to support bullying prevention efforts, and strategies to create safe, understanding, and inclusive academic environments. All of these discussions stemmed from the idea of incorporating tolerance and inclusion into bullying prevention activities. An emphasis was put on the issues facing LGBTQ students, students with disabilities, and students from the Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian communities.
Breakout sessions reinforced these discussions. Students representatives of these aforementioned communities came together to discuss the challenges they face, as well as the great work that is being done in their communities and schools to prevent bullying. These students shared deeply personal accounts of their experiences, challenging the adults in the room to take the strategies that worked back to their communities across the country. Breakout sessions also included a look at the Physicians Campaign to Stop Bullying project.
Did you participate in the Summit, either in-person or virtually? If so, we’d love to hear from you! What was the key lesson you took away from the day and have brought back to share with your colleagues? What would have made the day more helpful to you? Please share your thoughts with us via Facebook and Twitter using #BullyingSummit16.