President Barack Obama contemptuously chose to allow the first federal government shutdown in almost two decades on the first day of National Bullying Prevention Month, according to a press release sent to The Daily Caller by the National Education Association (NEA).
“With nearly one-third of students reporting being bullied in school and nearly half of adolescents and teens saying they have been bullied online, bullying has reached epidemic levels, especially as some studies connect bullying with suicidal thoughts,” said the press release, which TheDC received via email from NEA spokeswoman Sara Robertson.
In a survey of National Education Association members conducted in 2011, 98 percent of educators opined that the role of teachers and school staffers is critical in the preventing of bullying.
“NEA members across the country are stepping up and embracing their responsibility to protect students and end bullying in our schools. From teachers and bus drivers, to office staff and custodians, we are the eyes and ears in our schools, and we’re saying enough is enough,” Dennis Van Roekel, NEA president. “Every child deserves to learn and grow in a safe, caring environment.”
The NEA has announced that a group of researchers, policymakers and other key players in the education industry will convene on October 8 for a summit in Washington, D.C. for a National Bullying Prevention Month summit to talk about how to prevent bullying and make schools across the country safe environments for every student.
It’s not clear if the current shutdown of the federal government will have any effect on the National Bullying Prevention Month summit.
According to the NEA’s 2011 survey, 23 percent of the teachers and staffers who responded identified students’ as the most common target for bullies. Gender was next at 20 percent followed by perceived sexual orientation (18 percent) and disabilities (12 percent).
The most common form of bullying remains the spoken kind. Physical torment is also too widespread. Cyber-bullying continues to be a growing concern.
In 2011, over a quarter of all students between the ages of 12 and 18 reported that they suffered from bullying at school at some point during the school year.