“We continue our efforts to ensure that students have safe and healthy learning environments,” Duncan said. “But we have a long way to go and need the help of our federal partners, education leaders, schools, communities and legislators to assist in these efforts.”
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will give remarks on Monday, Aug. 6, and Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West will speak on Aug 7. Other keynotes include First Lady of Maryland Katie O’Malley and Special Assistant to the President for Education Roberto Rodriguez, who will give opening remarks at the summit. There will be a special discussion between White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Cynthia Germanotta, mother of musician Lady Gaga.
This year’s summit will kick off with discussions on “Bully,” a documentary by filmmaker Lee Hirsch that looks at the effects of bullying on five students and their families; the launch of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation; and the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice’s settlement in the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota where several students faced harassment based on their sexual orientation and gender expression. In addition, the summit will focus on ensuring that bullying prevention efforts are coordinated and based on the best available research. There will be panel discussions on the connection between bullying and suicide, and on finding ways to help students who bully others.
Since the Department’s first-ever bullying summit in 2010, considerable effort has been made by both the public and private sectors to bring attention to bullying and the challenges of addressing it. The U.S. Department of Education, its federal partners, and the AD Council will release several new tools and initiatives at the summit.
This year’s summit will expand on previous years’ goals of crafting a national strategy to prevent bullying, and will work toward engaging private and public organizations committed to providing needed tools and resources to ensure the safety of students. The summit’s complete agenda can be found at http://stopbullying.gov/live/summitagenda/Summit_Agenda.pdf.