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Tempe, Phoenix mayors join national effort to stop bullying

Post Date:07/23/2014 3:55 PM
Tempe, Arizona – Mayor Mark Mitchell, Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix and nearly 200 mayors from across the country have joined forces with the U.S. Conference of Mayors and The BULLY Project to combat bullying in local schools.

The partnership – the Mayors’ Campaign to End Bullying – is part of a national effort to develop solutions-based responses to bullying at the local level. Mayors will work with experts from The BULLY Project to raise awareness, foster safe school climate and create customized responses to bullying in local school districts.

Mitchell said The BULLY Project aligns with his longstanding commitment to anti-bullying through his work with the Tempe Diablos and their support of the national Rachel’s Challenge organization.

“Initiatives like The BULLY Project bring attention to one of the most important challenges school-age children experience in our country. Everyone is entitled to feel safe at school and we must be willing to work together as a community to face this problem head-on,” he said.

Stanton has made anti-bullying a component of his education agenda, and has partnered with his wife, Nicole, to combat bullying in schools. Nicole Stanton launched “Stop Bullying AZ” in 2012, a campaign that brings together local leaders and educators to increase awareness on the issue.

“We need to demand excellent education for all students in Phoenix, and that means safe, bully-free schools,” Stanton said. “Bullying changes the learning environment in a way that hurts all of our kids – it shifts academic focus for victims and creates a sense of fear in a school that gets in the way of student success.”

Experts joining this national effort are looking to develop city-specific action plans, according to Lee Hirsch, founder of The BULLY Project and filmmaker behind the award-winning film, “Bully.”

“With Congress stalled on legislation to end the bullying epidemic, the Mayors’ Campaign to End Bullying is a critical initiative to establish policies and programs that would improve the lives of the 13 million kids bullied in America each year,” said Hirsch.

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