It was already a crowded news day last Thursday when a large crowd gathered to witness the launch of the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus. I took my own seat in the packed room as members of Congress and personal and professional advocates united behind a common call to action.
As director Lee Hirsch put it:
[Bully was an] honest and real way [so that] that we couldn’t argue anymore about whether this was worth our time . . . Today marks the beginning of the tipping point . . . My job in this collective is to help change hearts and minds.
Tina Long continued:
Our current policies aren’t working. We need solutions . . . What we can do is save another child.
Tyler sent a message when he was here with us that change needs to happen.
Representative Laura Richardson offered one suggestion for how to move forward:
[We must teach our children that] our differences are our strengths and not things that we should fight about.
Young people are leading the way on this and adults need to catch up.
Dr. Eliza Byard, Executive Director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, agreed:
One supportive adult can save a life. Six or more can change a culture.
Robert Gebbia, Executive Director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, also urged that we expand our perspective:
As we work with the schools, we can't forget about all we need to do with parents and families.
Many of us have had that training. I’ve had it. I was bullied.
Chairman Honda wrapped the panel portion of the day with an exercise that drove that point home. He told us to sit if we’d never been bullied. He told us to sit if we’d never been a bully. Hardly anyone did.
We stand with you!