National Press Conference on Bullying

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan holding national press call on bullying, discriminatory harassment

Andrew Dodson/The Bay City Times

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will hold a national press conference Tuesday announcing guidance to schools on handling bullying and discriminatory harassment.


Joining Duncan will be White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes and Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali. The press conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Duncan released a statement about anti-gay bullying in response to to a trend of recent suicides — particularly Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University freshman who took his life in September after he was recorded having sex with another male in his dorm room. Clementi’s roommate posted the video on Twitter.

“This is a moment where every one of us — parents, teachers, students, elected officials, and all people of conscience —needs to stand up and speak out against intolerance in all its forms. Whether it’s students harassing other students because of ethnicity, disability or religion; or an adult, public official harassing the President of hte University of Michigan student body because he is gay, it is time we as a country said enough. No more. This must stop.” — Arne Duncan

Cassandra Morris.JPG.jpegCassandra Morris

Duncan’s statements and planned press conference also comes at the time that the local story of Cassandra Morris was published. Morris dropped out of Ogemaw Heights High School earlier this month because she said she couldn’t handle the bullying from students for being a lesbian.

“I was scared, confused, I didn’t understand why I was so different to them. I was blown away by the way people treated me,” said Morris, talking about the way her friends reacted after she came out as a lesbian.

Duncan said he will provide guidance for public schools on how to deal with bullying and discriminatory harassment — but how can the situation be handled? Keep the conversation going by weighing in, below.




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