Let’s all Connect for Respect and Put a Stop to Bullying

As the parent of four, with two sons still in middle school, I have seen firsthand how bullying can hurt our students. For my wife, Teresa, and I this issue started with our youngest experiencing illness at home and school every day. He would wake up each day physically ill, not wanting to go to school, this coming from a child who was rarely ill and loved school. We started digging down and discovered that both of our sons had experienced being bullied.

Bullying has led to so many tragedies. We have seen news accounts where students have taken their own lives because they were bullied by others. Bullying causes so many issues; bad grades, health issues, self esteem issues; all harmful and negative for our children.

PTA members, parents and caregivers must get engaged in this conversation. We must help our children understand why these actions are wrong. We must help teachers and school administrators know that we will support their efforts in the school to combat issue. This is not a “kids will be kids” issue, this is serious! Kids are hurting kids and it must stop.

That’s why we’re proud to announce today the launch of a new bullying prevention campaign, called Connect for Respect. PTAs everywhere have supported bullying prevention for years and today, with this campaign, we are reaffirming our commitment to the cause.

We announced the launch of this initiative in a news release this morning, as well as during our participation today in the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention. It is our hope that PTAs across the country will get involved in raising awareness about this important issue with the parents, children and families they serve.

Through this initiative, PTAs can get involved by:
1. Hosting a Connect for Respect event in their communities and sharing resources with parents about bullying.
2. Encouraging parents to talk to their child about bullying and to advocate for policies and practices that will create a safe school climate for all children.
3.Providing resources for parents and PTAs to get involved. PTA has created five tip sheets to increase parents’ understanding of bullying, how to prevent it, and how to recognize if your child is the bully. PTA has also created some “how to” materials to support our PTAs in planning their own Connect for Respect event.

Please join us in this effort and don’t wait until this happens to your family. Visit www.PTA.org/bullying to help put a stop to bullying!


  1. Gretchen says:

    Thank you for posting this. I am currently dealing with bullying situations at my son’s new school & they are very proactive but we need to do more. The policies in place are bland. They are protocol, not accounted for! I am blessed to have people that are listening to me, and as a former PTA president moving to a school with just a PTO, I am going to forward every bit of PTA resource to the school and after school programs, with the hope that the inane bullying will stop.

  2. Conor Cusack says:

    There isn’t a day that goes by that a school (K-12; public, private, parochial) emergency, disaster or tragedy doesn’t occur somewhere in the U.S. While some events make national news, many more are local but none the less important to students, teachers, staff, parents and the community.

    The purpose of this short survey is to gauge the current level of emergency management, disaster preparedness and crisis response, and identify areas where these programs and actions need improvement. Results of the survey will be presented at the 2011 U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools Confernece, “Making the Connection: Creating and Maintaining Conditions for Learning”, August 8-10 in Suburban Washington, D.C.

    We ask you to take a few minutes to respond to this survey on behalf of your school or school district. If someone else in your school or district might be more knowledgeable or better able to respond, please forward the survey link to that individual.


    If you have any questions regarding this survey please contact:

    Connor Cusack, MPA
    Education Management Professional


    Ric Skinner, GISP
    GIS and Emergency Management Professional

  3. Robben Wainer says:

    There is a type of bullying that can make some children feel that they deserve abuse. If an inferiority complex becomes a pattern of believing that their personality is to naive, a child may feel that an attacker who had mistreated them, did so for a worthy cause. It is so hard to know which way to turn, when the general consensus on bullying is that one must fight, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. I only wish that my children do not have to be so hard on themselves that they feel worthy of such punishment.

  4. Sophfia says:

    Solutions to bullying that involve parents being proactive and building their children’s internal fortitude seem to be among the best solutions. Parents might find information they deem invaluable for helping their children and themselves cope with this problem in the e-book ‘Free From Bullies’ at


  5. Tammy Joy says:

    Second Grade Students Use Claymation to Stop Bullying and Encourage Friendship

    What started out as a casual get together this summer for my second grade class to see some of our favorite book characters in the Judy Moody movie turned into an awesome opportunity to experience watching our very own claymation movie/service learning project about friendship and bullying on the big screen at one of our local Regal Cinema theaters. Even more exciting and one of the reasons I am sharing our story is that we were also able to get our local news station, KXAN, and Austin’s own Alamo Theaters involved so that our service learning project is being shown to children all over the Austin, TX area. KXAN interviewed us at Regal Cinema after we watched our film, and they featured the story that same evening on the six o’clock news. Alamo Theaters is graciously showing our claymation film all summer during the previews before the featured films in their Kids Camp. (Admission to the camp is free.)

    I am so very proud of my students and happy for the benefits we have reaped from our project, including an improved classroom environment and, yes, the sweet memory of seeing my little friends watch the movie they made and starred in on the big screen. I truly did have the sweetest group of not students but wonderful little friends that I have ever had in my thirteen years of teaching, and they earned their title of Joy’s Joys; that in itself is good news worth sharing and makes me want to do a project similar to this during the upcoming school year. However, these are not the only reasons why I am sharing our great news. While we reaped some great benefits by doing this project, our reasons for doing it were not about us. Our big goal was and still is for our service learning project to inspire change. For a service learning project to be truly effective it needs to reach beyond the walls of our classroom. The effects can’t end with us; this is the reason I contacted the movie theaters and KXAN and another more important reason why I am sharing our story with you. It is my hope that sharing our news with other educators will encourage them to consider showing our project to their classes next month as they kick-off the school year. Our goal for making and sharing our movie is to inspire kids and even adults to put a stop to bullying by being a good friend and perhaps even inspire other teachers and students to take on a service learning project of their own.

    Below I have pasted a link to our story on KXAN and a link to our student work page where others can view a web version of our service learning project, How to Make a Friend in Just One Day.
    http://schools.roundrockisd.org/greatoaks/work_2Joy.aspx (The web version is not high definition like the copy my students received or like the version playing at Alamo Theater, but I will gladly provide a free copy of a high-def DVD to any teacher who wants it.)

    Tammy Joy
    RRISD 2nd grade teacher
    Great Oaks Elementary – Round Rock ISD

  6. Holly Smythe says:

    Bullying a Symptom of Corrupt Schools:

    I am aware that some but too few elementary schools/Districts do a good job of teaching /modeling positive citizenship and kindness. Thus have few bullying episodes. However, now my rant.

    When will PTA realize that its silence / ignorance about bullying in elementary schools is modeled, tolerted, taught by many of the teachers, Administrators? I’ve taugth for many years, am highly effective & qualified in elementary primary school. So taught in 2 exemplary schools w. NO BULLYING by students or TEACHERS. But relocation over the years to 2-3 areas in Oak Grove School District, San Jose, CA and Ceres Unified in Central CA (marital etc.) Revealed the underbelly that disturbed me mightily. I always professionally presented my concerns. I went through channels etc. Brought attention to my concerns about violence and bullying on grades 1-3 playground since 1986. (Also reported problem at my children’s school.) If an assault on sidewalk would require a police report why not at a school? I was looked at as if I were crazy. I’d taught in other areas/locales as a master teacher etc. I was a transplant— thus apparently an “outsider”. Odd since I’d taught in CA all of my adult life. Because of my confidence in my training, background, experiences, I knew that a bully culture w. children bullying is part of a bully culture of /by Teachers & Administrators in the school/District. Bullying of teachers who know too much, notice too much, resisted cheating on tests, requested that racial, gender and ethnic slurs stop etc. In CERES CA, my last employer, PTA members, officers were part of gang mentality. Felf sorry for the wholesome students & parents but area culture was high criminality and substance abuse. So the clique of PTA officers, members, became part of the problem. Including misusing classroom funds, gossiping, “trying to get rid of Mrs. ___” It went on for 5years w. teacher requesting camera in room to dispel the false allegations of yelling and/or grabbing arms. Still these parents did not observe in classroom, engage in constructive dialoge w. teacher & principal. Parenst were not provide the letters that proved teacher was repeatedly exonerated of the unfounded allegations. Other students were witnesses to nothing untoward happening! But stil it continued. And PTA the center of the gossi. Made false allegations, gossip, ruined reputations. Never realizing many were covering up for others who had been involved w. many illegalities incl. blatant fraud, child abuse by parents. their own children acting out in class, disrupting, disrespectful, and defient, etc. For God’s sake one of my student’s DIED (a year after my District retaliated against me for reporting a “reasonable suspicion of child neglect/abuse.”) Principal and Psych refused to report, but I was the one teacher the child reported to. Yet our Child Study Team files clearly delininated suspicion of neglect for months. NURSE WAS SUPPOSED TO GO OUT. But didn’t. Anyway, I write a report to police. Within 2 days screamed at by Principal. 2 weeks involuntarily transferred and hounded and terrorized for years afer. CTA, local teachers association DID NOTHING EVEN THOUGH THEY KNEW the RETALIATION OF A MANDATED REPORTER IS ILLEGAL. A year goes by and child dies! Even though he had been removed from father’s home and placed in home of father’s parents. (Old boy network..apparently Grandfather was retired Fire Chief in town. CONDIT Brother, BURL was on School Board, former Superintendent ATKINSON & Maintenance, Harden, were allegedly owners of apartments where child had previously lived… w. manager begging for police to check the entire apartment complex for drugs, told her concern for children there. ) They all just IGNORED and then even when child was removed, they continued to drop the ball, incl. the school NURSE. EVEN though the files clearly indicated there was to be follow up about health concerns and possible neglect etc. They Never checked on child’s appearance, health, cleanliness, illnesses, his welfare. It was part of child’s IEP. (We teachers/Administrators are mandated reporters1) The retaliation, bullying and terrorizing began toward reporting teacher by ADMINISTRATION.. old boy network… very sad.. am haunted still. She was asked to look for BOMB during a BOMB THREAT, received numerous harassing phone calls including death threats. Finally a death threat made IN THE OFFICE AT THE SCHOOL at 10:00 AM. But teacher not told until 4:30 PM Police would not allow her to file a complaint against this nutso former parent who had no rational issue. Teacher treated as if she deserved it. School District would not pay for RESTRAINING ORDER TEACHER HAD TO GET FROM THE COURTS, as some measure of protection. PTA get on the ball. You are covering up by appearing to remain ignorant of sources of bullying by PTA members, teachers, Administration/District. And thus the students learned bullying at home and had it reinforced at school! Boxes & Boxes of documents. Recent cheating on testing is nothing new. Has been going on since 1982. Get with it. Many Districts and Teachers Associations act like organized crime… especially w. what they’ve gotten away with — terrorizing, fraud, collusion, denying legitimate work comp benefits and more. Remember a beautiful child died very needlessly due to many who should have known and probably did….looked the other way.

    Names are accurate, incidents are all documented. TRUTH IS ESPECIALLY HARD THESE DAYS. If any legitimate entity really wants to stop bullying, first the corruption in elementary schools must be investigated, revealed, brougt to justice. We must begin again.

    We must begin again. Schools are operating like organized crime. That never was the intent of public schools. Publc Schools are the only entity designated to socialize, enculturate, educated for an informed, productive citizenry.

    For last 30 years the profession has been horribly corrupted. A complete generation of students and TEACHERS lost to depression from bullying, and the students failed to receive a proper education that taxpayers paid for.

  7. gigly girl says:

    Teachers, Administration MUST model correct conflict resolution and tolerance & respect of all people: In my elementary school there’s way too much gender, racial and ethnic jokes and slurs. Some slurs and jokes are heard in teachers’ lounge too.

    In a school where most students are primarily white, 3% black and about 30% hispanic and teachers are all white, the tolerance of ill manners and outright bias, jokes and slurs is intolerable. The ignorance is blatant, but “teasing” bullying comments hurt others badly. PTA members surely hear it as many of the same are on campus and/or are employed at the school.

    And just when was it appropriate to sell “Pickaninny” dolls in the elementary school office? Are we getting the picture here?

  8. straight ARROW says:

    My feeling and experience is if bullying, teasing rises to level of assault if it were done off campus, then Police should be called. Charges filed. School must stop covering up the dirty laundry. Kids are being hurt badly and it’s been goin on at least for 26 years I’ve transplanted to this Central CA city/county. I came to this area to teach and was astounded, disgusted with the level of violence and bullying. Seems to correlate with literacy levels, substance abuse and child abuse …. all documented… but school and local newspapers deny. Well it was NOT ACCEPTABLE when my son was repeatedly attacked/teased etc. But old boy network sure didn’t like a transplant, non native to area speaking up, no matter how politely I did.

  9. It’s so important that we keep on raising the issue of bullying until bullying is stopped. Unfortunately I’ve met moms who are “tired of hearing about it” and/or afraid to press the issue–but we need to press! If you want to continue this dialogue in a lighthearted (but still meaningful) way, please visit our blog, click a button, and answer our survey question on bullying at our blog TheMomQuiz.blogspot.com. Tell a friend (or a few), and let’s keep this conversation going!!

  10. Along with my co-authors, we are excited about the recent release of the 3rd/4th grade Kids Style educational series that brings to parents, teachers and children an age-appropriate application of over 40 years of research in interpersonal relationship skills. Released in August, early results with kick-off schools are very favorable. Parents (and grandparents) may also introduce the Kids Style vocabulary and interpersonal skills to their 3rd/4th graders and their households by getting the eBook version. Details at http://www.KidsStyle.org.

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