New York, NY, August 4, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today submitted recommendations to a trio of federal agencies on how the U.S. government can more effectively address the issue of bullying and cyberbullying.
The recommendations come in advance of an upcoming Federal Bullying Prevention Summit, scheduled to convene August 11-12 in Washington,D.C.
"The federal government can play a critical role in ensuring that our schools and communities are safe places for all students," said David Waren, ADL Director of Education, who will represent the League at the summit. "Federal leadership on these important issues helps nurture a climate and a culture in which community members are willing to condemn bigotry, bullying and harassment. We look forward to working with Administration officials on this important issue."
In letters to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, ADL called on the federal government to develop, fund and promote proactive strategies to confront bullying, cyberbullying and harassment in schools and communities.
The League also outlined a menu of specific strategies the government can adopt to counter bullying. ADL's recommendations include:
- Develop a model anti-bullying policy, and promote the adoption of such a policy for schools in all states.
- Fund research into the nature and magnitude of the bullying problem in America and its impact on the social and emotional health of students and their academic achievement.
- Promote Internet media literacy – specifically programs to help develop students' critical thinking skills for Internet, viral and wireless communications.
- Require Internet providers to clearly define prohibited hate speech in their Terms of Service agreements.
ADL is a leader in developing anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying training and curriculum for teachers, parents and students; and has developed a model state bullying prevention policy which requires schools and communities to approach the issue of bullying with proactive, responsive and responsible measures.