Bullying Prevention Day Aims to Stop the Epidemic Early
2013-12-12 · By Editor
As part of a statewide legislative effort, Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance is urging youths, parents and educators to commit tomorrow, Dec. 12, to help raise public awareness about the potential damage and dangers of bullying.
“This day recognizes the need for all of us – individuals, schools, communities, businesses, local governments and the state – to take action on behalf of bullying prevention in California,” Lieu said. “This day helps encourage community members to support bullying-prevention programs in elementary school, where research shows bullying often begins.”
The catalyst for Lieu’s Senate Concurrent Resolution 51, overwhelmingly approved by lawmakers last August to establish Dec. 12 as California Bullying Prevention Day, was a short movie made by a then nine-year-old constituent named Gerry Orz, who was bullied in school for a few reasons, including him being the son of same-sex parents. He also was targeted with anti-Semitic taunts.
He wasn’t alone. National studies suggest 28 percent of students were bullied at school and 6 percent were cyberbullied.
Gerry’s movie, called “Day of Silence,” targets elementary and middle school children and depicts the life of a youth who is emotionally and physically bullied by a peer. Gerry’s compelling story demonstrated how bullying impacts a youth’s schoolwork, family and well-being by mixing fiction and reality to demonstrate how bullying impacts a child’s schoolwork, family and well-being.
Gerry also shares strategies for students, parents and schools to protect children from being bullied and started “Kids Resource,” a non-profit organization that promotes education and social awareness and provides resources and tools that educate the public on topics relating to childhood social challenges.
“If we all work together we will make a difference and stop the epidemic of bullying,” Gerry, now 11, said. “I hope kids and adults will reach out to those that desperately need our help or just a friend to talk to. This means the world to those who don’t have a voice. I know because I was once one of them.”