Children’s television network Nickelodeon launched an anti-bullying campaign this week to combat school harassment.
Nickelodeon, which is the most-watched channel for kids aged 2 to 14, is teaming up with advocacy group Common Sense Media to spread awareness on the issue of bullying. As part of the effort, Nickelodeon will feature some of its stars giving advice about how to handle teasing, hostility and cruelty from others.
“It’s not tattle-telling. It’s standing up for yourself,” said 17-year-old Gage Golightly, who stars in Nickelodeon’s “The Troop” comedy series.
James Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media, told the Associated Press that he would like to take a strong stand against online bullying.
“We have to be laser-focused on finding solutions to the issue of cyberbullying,” Steyer said.
Nickelodeon is not the only influential outlet to latch onto the anti-bullying movement. “Glee,” a television program about a high school music group, has aired several episodes about the effects of school bullying. After gay Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi committed suicide upon being filmed having sex with another man, columnist Dan Savage started the “It Gets Better” project to inform the world about the nationwide problem of bullying as well as provide a safe space for bullying victims. Late last year, singer Ke$ha posted a YouTube video urging viewers not to “give up” if they’re taunted by others.
Nickelodeon’s effort is an example of adults taking notice of the bullying phenomenon. Jodee Blanco, author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, “Please Stop Laughing At Me” and survivor of childhood bullying, told The Daily Caller it’s necessary for adults and parents to take active roles in kids’ lives in order to prevent bullying.
“If [you’re a parent and] you suspect that there is something wrong, follow your instincts. Get curious. Get involved and stay involved,” Blanco told TheDC.
Citing this month’s viral YouTube video that features Casey Heynes body slamming alleged long-time bully Richard Gale, Blanco said it’s important for grown-ups to be involved enough with children to know when harassment is going on.
“Typically when you see overt physical bullying flourishing at a school, that means that there are even worse forms of bullying, even subtler, that are going on that the school doesn’t even know about,” Blanco told TheDC. “Where were the adults? Where were the parents?”