Addressing Bullying at the Community Level

Child attending public school

Ken Ulman, Howard County Executive and Erin Reiney, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) wrote the following blog post on StopBullying.gov on July 17, 2013 about their community approach to bullying that Sprigeo is proud to be a part of:

We knew we needed to tackle bullying and cyber-harassment, after a few serious incidents focused our attention and raised awareness of these problems in our community. We examined current laws and discussed whether to push for new state legislation. We looked at how our public schools collect reports of bullying and later, how they handle them.

After much study and discussion, we decided on a multi-faceted approach that brings together a variety of community partners and offers a comprehensive way forward.  We announced our plan on May 1 and now, are looking forward to seeing the results.

The plan involves three parts:

  • First, we want to change what people think and feel about bullying. We will develop a social marketing campaign to make sure adults and children know about the severe effects of bullying and what to do when it occurs. Fortunately, we’ve got a good model. In Howard County, our library system took the lead in creating a campaign known as “Choose Civility,” which has become incredibly popular for pushing positive messages about how we should treat each other We will use the lessons from that work to develop a similar message around bullying.
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