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Cartoon Network takes the animation out of the serious topic of bullying

LatinaLista — Bullying is an issue that, in spite of the increase in media awareness campaigns, it’s getting worse. According to bullying statistics for 2010, there are about 2.7 million students being bullied each year by about 2.1 students taking on the roll of the bully.

It’s revenge for school bullying that leads to the majority of school shootings according to the bullying statistics. And those students who just can’t take the physical taunts and abuse anymore and end up committing suicide are contributing to the creation a new word in the vocabulary — bullycide.

According to bullying statistics:

  • Over half, about 56 percent, of all students have witnesses a bullying crime take place while at school.
  • A reported 15 percent of all students who don’t show up for school report it to being out of fear of being bullied while at school.
  • There are about 71 percent of students that report bullying as an on-going problem.
  • About one out of every 10 students drops out or changes schools because of repeated bullying.
  • Some of the top years for bullying include 4th through 8th graders in which 90 percent were reported as victims of some kind of bullying.
  • There is a strong connection between bullying, being bullied and suicide, according to a new study from the Yale School of Medicine. Suicide rates are continuing to grow among adolescents, and have grown more than 50 percent in the past 30 years.
  • About half of young people have experienced some form of cyber bullying, and 10 to 20 percent experience it regularly
  • Cyber bullying affects all races

There’s no argument that bullying, both online and offline, is a problem. Experts say if those being bullied would tell their parents or teachers, and together they confront the bully, the likelihood is that the bullying stops.

The problem is educating more students and their families about the issue. Though the upcoming film Bully (due to be released March 30) has received a lot of attention and praise — and is the centerpiece of a new anti-bullying campaign called The Bully Project, it’s a film to be shown in theaters where not everyone who needs it may be able to see it.

So news that the Cartoon Network has created their own documentary about bullying provides a more accessible option to thousands of more children and their families who need the information. The documentary, Speak Up, airs this Sunday, March 18 on the Cartoon Network.

The 30-minute film opens with an introduction by President Obama and showcases everyday stories of kids who have been bullied and the youth who helped them get through it, but the best part is the show will live on via the Cartoon Network’s web site and through social media and online video platforms.

Before, during and immediately following the telecast, renowned bullying prevention expert and author Rosalind Wiseman will provide further explanation of key bullying issues for kids and adults, answering viewer questions online at Speak Up also will be posted in its entirety on the website for ongoing viewing by students, parents, educators and community leaders. Further viewing of Speak Up across multiple digital platforms will be facilitated free of charge to customers through Comcast Xfinity, Facebook, iTunes and, each for at least two weeks following the world premiere.

Bullying is preventable. It’s just a matter of empowering children, and anyone who is bullied, to know that no one has the right to treat them less as a person.


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