At a program organized by ADL in 2012, a high school student named Michelle told a group of students how being demeaned, threatened physically and ostracized during middle school nearly destroyed her. One of the students was so stricken, she apologized in front of the whole group for witnessing the bullying but not speaking out. Later, several other students apologized to Michelle privately. "It meant the world to me," she said.
Bullying used to mean getting beaten up by someone more powerful. Now it is often verbal cruelty amplified by technology.
Today, with ADL's help, bullying is no longer written off as a rite of passage. It inhibits learning, damages self-esteem and may even be a factor in suicide. We've led the fight against it through a comprehensive approach that encompasses both legislation and education, and is carried out on the local level by our Regional Offices.
Our interactive education programs teach empathy for targets as well as effective responses and prevention to millions of students, educators, parents, legislators, members of law enforcement and communities.
We are an important force behind groundbreaking anti-bullying laws, such as those passed by the District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, where our model anti-bullying statute served as a touchstone.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing."
— from Edmund Burke
See how far we've come in the last century–and how far we have yet to go–by reading ADL’s 2012 Annual Report celebrating our Centennial anniversary.Anti-Semitism Bigotry Hate Crimes Religious Freedom Extremism Israel Law Enforcement and Security Holocaust Education Interfaith Return to Annual Report