December 6th, 2011
02:20 PM ET
Posted by:CNN White House Producer Lesa Jansen
Pop superstar Lady Gaga is taking her mission to end bullying to the White House. Gaga met Tuesday with members of the White House Office of Public Engagement about the issue, according to an administration official. She will not meet with President Obama who traveled toKansas.
Earlier this year Gaga tweeted about the tragic suicide of a 14 year old fan, a victim of bullying. Days later, she was able to voice her concerns about bullying directly to President Obama at a high-dollar intimate fundraiser at theSilicon Valleyhome of Facebook COO Cheryl Sandberg. At that event, which was closed to cameras, the superstar thanked the president for his efforts.
The White House held an anti bullying conference earlier this year bringing together educators, parents, students and policymakers in an effort to make schools and communities across the country safe for all students.
March 10th, 2011
02:28 PM ET
Chip Somodevilla of Getty Images captured this shot during President Obama's opening remarks at the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention. In the back row, Laura and Kirk Smalley weep while listening to the president talk about their son, 11-year-old Ty Field, who shot himself after being bullied at school and being suspended because of a fight with a bully.
President Obama acknowledged the Smalley's and other families who have endured similar tragedies.
"No family should have to go through what these families have gone through," President Obama read from the teleprompter. "No child should feel that alone. We’ve got to make sure our young people know that if they’re in trouble, there are caring adults who can help and young adults that can help; that even if they’re having a tough time, they’re going to get through it, and there’s a whole world full of possibility waiting for them."
March 10th, 2011
01:59 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama took on the issue of bullying in the first ever White House Conference on Bullying Prevention Thursday.
"We all have a lot of work to do in this country on this issue," Mrs. Obama said in remarks to educators, parents, students, politicos and businesses leaders.
So how does the White House define bullying?
According to StopBullying.gov, a website announced today by the administration, "Bullying can happen anywhere: face-to-face, by text messages or on the web. It is not limited by age, gender, or education level. It is not a phase and it is not a joke. Bullying can cause lasting harm."
The president cited a statistic that one third of all middle and high school students in the nation have reported being bullied over the course of the school year. Personalizing the statistic, he then admitted even he was bullied as a youngster.
"As adults, we all remember what it was like to see kids picked on in the hallways or in the schoolyard," Obama said. "And I have to say, with big ears and the name that I have, I wasn’t immune. I didn’t emerge unscathed."
While he didn't disclose his own experience had any "lasting harm," the president did state that that the goal of the conference was "to dispel the myth that bullying is just a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up."
"It’s not," he stressed.
March 10th, 2011
05:16 AM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama and first lady Michele Obama will host the first-ever White House Conference on Bullying Prevention Thursday.
"For a long time bullying was treated as an unavoidable part of growing up but more and more we're seeing how harmful it can be for our kids, especially when it follows them from their school to their phone to their computer screen," the president said in a video promoting the event.
An anti-bullying PSA released online in January declares that more than six-million schoolchildren experienced bullying in the past six months. As parents of two teenage girls, the issue resonates with the president and first lady.
"I spend a lot of time talking to them about putting themselves in other people's shoes and seeing through other people's eyes," Obama said at a town hall, hosted by BET and MTV, in October 2010. "And if somebody is different from you, that's not something you criticize, that's something that you appreciate."
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