Cartoon Network Announces Bullying Prevention Campaign
Press Release from Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network will leverage its influence among kids this fall with a brand new campaign aimed at educating and empowering bystanders to take action to reduce/prevent bullying. The on-air and online initiative will launch in October 2010 to coordinate with the fifth annual National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week (Oct. 4-10), sponsored by the National Center for Bullying Prevention. Cartoon Network will create a new series of PSAs that will premiere on Friday, Oct. 1, at 9 a.m. directing viewers to key online resources at CartoonNetwork.com developed in coordination with its recently established Bullying Prevention Advisory Board. CNN, sister station to Cartoon Network within Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., also will present a series of editorial features on bullying to provide better understanding and response options for victims, bystanders and adults.
"This has been a growing and critical issue and we knew we had to find the right way to not only engage our audience and others but to also give them the proper tools and knowledge," said Stuart Snyder, president and chief operation officer of Cartoon Network. "The research we started last summer inspired us to seek out nationally recognized experts to advise us on what, if any, positive steps could be taken to help reduce its occurrence. Our ongoing discussions eventually led us to create a campaign directed at the bullying 'participant' who has the most power to affect change-the bystander."
"Research has shown that 75-85% of students in schools are considered witnesses to bullying," added Alice Cahn, Cartoon Network vice president of social responsibility. "Through our work to date with bullying prevention experts we learned there are proven tactics bystanders can use to interrupt and even put an end to a bullying situation. Our goal is to help teach these tactics, as well as to spread awareness of multiple resources kids and adults can access should they find themselves or someone they know in a bullying situation."
Comprised of renowned educators and researchers, as well as private organizations and government agencies, the Cartoon Network Bullying Prevention Advisory Board includes Dr. Ronald Slaby, senior scientist, Education Development Center, Inc. & Center on Media and Child Health, Children's Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School; Dr. Susan Limber, Clemson University, Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life; Dr. Duane Thomas, University of Pennsylvania, Applied Psychology & Human Development Division; Dr. Anthony Peguero, Miami University, Department of Sociology; Captain Stephanie Bryn, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration; and Robyn Glass, Founder and Executive Director of Project Change's You Have The Power, a peer mentoring program where high school students teach bullying prevention tactics to middle and elementary school students.
"Bullying can be prevented," said Slaby, co-author of the Eyes on Bullying Program. "Our challenge is to prepare ourselves and our children to show respect for others, protect the vulnerable and speak out against bullying."
"Bullying is more prevalent than many adults believe," said Limber, co-author of the internationally renowned and researched Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. "It can have a toxic effect on children and youth, their families, their schools, and other settings where children gather. The good news is that there is lots that can be done to help prevent bullying before it starts and to stop bullying if it does occur. Children and youth have critical roles to play, together with adults, in these efforts to stop bullying."