Gray Announces Anti-Bullying Action Plan

4/13/2012, 2:14 p.m.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray has announced the District's first city-wide Anti-Bullying Action Plan which will led by the D.C. Office of Human Rights (OHR).

This comprehensive plan brings together D.C. government agencies, non-profit organizations, community partners and educators across the city to find solutions to confront and eradicate bullying across the District.

"When one in every five children is a target of bullying each day, and these events all too often lead to severe social and emotional crises for our youth, we must let our young people know that we hear them," Mayor Gray said. "We must come together - government, non-profits, advocates, teachers and parents - to eradicate bullying in the District and promote safe and inclusive schools."

In 2011, Mayor Gray proclaimed April 21 "Bully-Free D.C. Day."

The initiation of the Anti-Bullying Action Plan coincides with the 2nd annual Bully-Free D.C. Day and represents a significant step forward in ensuring an inclusive and ridicule-free city.

Bullying remains an endemic problem for youth and young adults across the country. While not a new phenomenon, the widespread use of social media has given youth a new platform on which to engage in hurtful - and often dangerous - bullying of their peers.

"The problem of bullying transcends the schoolyard. It is a fundamental issue of human rights, and requires the entire city to be present to promote solutions," said Gustavo Velasquez, director of the D.C. Office of Human Rights. "We need to investigate where bullying occurs in the city and what makes the District different from other cities in incidents of bullying so we can develop and implement solutions to best help our youth."