AFT president Randi Weingarten joined with Cartoon Network on April 3 to launch the “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” Flag Raising Campaign, a new partnership that will provide educators in more than a thousand schools nationwide with bullying prevention materials and curriculum suggestions.
Cartoon Network initiated Stop Bullying: Speak Up with partners CNN and Time Inc. as a response to student interest in learning how to safely and effectively stop bullying. Now, with support from LG Electronics, that effort will be expanded through a partnership with the AFT to distribute free bullying prevention kits to help teachers, parents and communities begin or enhance their anti-bullying work.
“This partnership with Cartoon Network is one of many projects in which the AFT is actively working with other organizations to eradicate bullying in every form—from the schoolyard to cyberspace,” Weingarten says. “We applaud Cartoon Network’s effort, and we will continue to work with them and other partners to give educators, parents and students the tools they need to help end bullying and make our schools and communities safe.”
Stuart Snyder, president and chief operating officer of Cartoon Network highlighted the project’s connection with student concerns. “We are honored to partner with the AFT on this important project. Young people nationwide told us they want to learn what to do when they see their friends get bullied—they want to work with their teachers and parents to create safe, supportive school environments,” Snyder says. “Stop Bullying: Speak Up provides educators and students with tools they can use to begin or enhance those efforts.”
Two years ago, the AFT launched the “See a Bully, Stop a Bully: Make a Difference” campaign to spread the word to parents, teachers and students about the devastating effects suffered by those who experience bullying. The AFT has bolstered the anti-bullying training it has provided to educators for years, and its website offers a host of resources educators and parents can use to identify bullying behavior and intervene to stop it.
“We no longer can excuse bullying as just something kids must face as part of growing up,” Weingarten says. “And we know that every adult in the school system—parents, teachers, principals, nurses, librarians, counselors and others—has a role to play. The resources in the Cartoon Network bullying prevention kits will help them do that.”
The kits include a flag that students can raise to signal that their school does not tolerate bullying, as well as templates they can use to make their own flags. Also included in the kit are an educator’s guide, strategies and timelines for introducing the topic in elementary and middle schools, reading lists, tip sheets for students and parents, and a DVD with documentary videos and PSAs for classroom and assembly use. Additional materials, including free downloadable posters and curriculum materials in Spanish and Farsi, are available online.
Throughout the Stop Bullying: Speak Up Flag Raising Campaign, the AFT and Cartoon Network will highlight stories of how students and educators are using these bullying prevention kits in their schools. Educators who share their experiences will be considered for a chance to present their results with Cartoon Network and the campaign’s creators at the AFT TEACH Conference in July.