(WASHINGTON) — Delivering the keynote address Tuesday at the Bullying Prevention Summit, Education Secretary Arne Duncan promised that the Obama administration would make awareness of the problem a national priority.
That includes running new public service announcements in a joint campaign with the Ad Council and the Free to Be Foundation that urge people to report instances of bullying rather than ignoring them.
Duncan emphasized that the battle against bullying can’t be won alone but rather, “It takes all of us working together to dramatically reduce this epidemic.”
The nation’s top educator said that one important step is getting to the root of the problem, meaning that “school cultures are going to have to change so that no one tolerates behavior that puts any child at risk.”
However, Duncan promised that the federal government won’t idly stand by and watch others do all the heavy lifting to combat the problem. He expressed hope that two bills, the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act, will quickly be approved by Congress.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, Joshua Berlinger, Ashley Fantz and Steve Almasy, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN Newswire