Texas mayors pledge support to combat bullying
Mayors in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico have signed onto a new partnership with The US Conference of Mayors and The BULLY Project as part of a major national initiative to develop local solutions-based responses to combat the epidemic of bullying in local schools.
The mayors of Houston, Laredo, Corpus Christi, Phoenix, Tempe, Sante Fe, and Las Cruces join more than 170 mayors from around the country who have signed on to the project – called the Mayors’ Campaign to End Bullying – to raise awareness, foster safe school climate, and work with experts from The BULLY Project to create customized responses to bullying in their local school districts.
“Bullying has an impact on children’s achievement in school all the way to the personal tragedy of suicide,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. “As Mayors, we have the convening power to be able to bring our constituents together and talk to them about how we can prevent bullying, how we can protect our kids who are being bullied and how we can challenge our educators and schools to become schools where all kids feel connected and welcome. I am honored to lead the Mayors Campaign to End Bullying”
As part of the initiative, Houston, Laredo, Corpus Christi, Phoenix, Tempe, Sante Fe, and Las Cruces will have access to technical support from a team of education specialists at the University of Illinois in partnership with The BULLY Project. The experts will provide participating mayors with advice and research on programmatic approaches to ending bullying, so the solutions developed through the initiative are based strongly in recognized best practices and have a sustainable impact that lasts beyond National Bullying Prevention Month in October.
“We must advocate and protect our young people from bullying, especially those students who we know are most vulnerable, those with disabilities and our LGBTQ students. I’m committed to combating bullying in Santa Fe and working with parents, teachers and kids to give them the tools and protections so that every student has the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Mayor Javier M. Gonzales of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
“I am a strong believer in treating everyone respectfully. As Mayor of the City of Corpus Christi, I am proud to be a part of the Mayor’s Campaign to End Bullying,” said Corpus Christi Mayor Nelda Martinez. “I support this global effort to inform people about why bullying should not be tolerated by anyone, especially our children. We owe it to this new generation to be vigilant against bullies and to change their hearts and minds. The future of our children’s success should always be protected.”
For a full list of all participating cities and mayors:
The BULLY Project will also provide participating mayors with screening resources, including the film and specialized discussion guide, strategic event support, and supplemental educational resources to help mayors plan and host scalable events that raise awareness and focus community efforts to keep schools safe.
“As community leaders, it is the responsibility of mayors to raise awareness and educate city residents about not only the potentially tragic effects of bullying, but also the many real ways that school climate impacts how our schools perform and innovate,” added Sacramento Mayor and USCM President Kevin Johnson. “Developing and implementing long term anti-bullying initiatives that engage top level community stakeholders including superintendents, law enforcement and philanthropic leaders is critical for the health and safety of not only our children, but all our residents. We are proud to stand in partnership with The Bully Project on this historic Mayors campaign in order to end bullying once and for all in the nation’s cities.”
“With Congress stalled on legislation to end the bullying epidemic, the Mayors’ Campaign to End Bullying is a critical initiative to establish policies and programs that would improve the lives of the 13 million kids bullied in America each year.” said Lee Hirsch, filmmaker behind Bully and founder of The BULLY Project. “Working with mayors in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, we hope to engage cities and community across those States in developing a city-specific action plans that draw from research-based initiatives and best practices, so that we move beyond temporary fixes to permanent solutions that enable all children and educators to learn and teach in safe, supportive environments.”
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The Mayors’ Campaign to End Bullying – which launched on Saturday, June 21st at the US Conference of Mayors annual meeting in Dallas – has already gained the support from more than 170 mayors nationwide with nearly 70 percent of the US Conference of Mayors attendees signing on in the first few days to tackle the issue of bullying in their local schools during National Bullying Prevention Month in October.