Garamendi Delivers Speech on House Floor on the Epidemic of Bullying

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Garamendi-bullying

“THE CHILDREN ARE LISTENING” Congressman Garamendi (D-Davis, Fairfield, Yuba City) told his fellow Representatives during a special order hour about the issue of bullying in our schools and in our politics.  “Today, I rise to shed light on the epidemic of bullying in our schools, and the harmful effects it has on our nation’s children. Bullying is the reason that 160,000 American children do not go to school each day because they cannot endure another day of verbal and physical attacks from their peers. All too often horrific shootings on our school campuses are done by students who have been bullied.”

Last year, 70% of students admitted they witnessed bullying in their school and over 20% of teenagers report that they have been bullied or victimized by their peers. What’s more, over 80% of LGBTQ youth were bullied last year because of their sexual orientation and over half of Muslim students have experienced religion-based bullying at school.

“Unfortunately the Presidential campaign has descended into political discourse that is vulgar and demeaning personal attacks. What we are seeing and hearing from people who want to be our leader is school yard bullying. Unfortunately this political discourse is legitimizing this sort of behavior. The children are listening and they are going to copy it,” said Congressman Garamendi.

“Bullying harms people. Their lives are disrupted. They can become fearful and depressed. Individuals who are bullied sometimes strike out in acts of violence, both self-inflicted and against others. We need to take actions that help our children understand the result of bullying, and teach our students to express their feelings constructively and communicate with each other in the spirit of caring and compassion.”

Congressman Garamendi is a Founding Director of Operation Respect, a national movement against bullying dedicated to creating respectful, safe, and compassionate climates of learning that are free of bullying and prejudice. Operation Respect is currently active in 22,000 schools across the United States. Part of Operation Respect’s efforts include disseminating its “Don’t Laugh At Me Program,” which includes a series of interactive videos and songs that help teachers and elementary students alike address the issue of bullying in their classrooms.

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3 thoughts on “Garamendi Delivers Speech on House Floor on the Epidemic of Bullying”

  1. Cecilia EscamillaGreenwald

    Thank you Congressman Garamendi for founding Operation Respect.  I hope that our schools will adopt is as a model to teach kids how to respect differences.  And since teaching starts at home it’s a good tool for parents to use at home. How do we get a copy for use at home?

  2. Tia Will

    I also want to express my support for attempts to lessen bullying in our schools and in our society in general. I could not agree more that a terrible example is being set by several of our would be national leaders in the area of bullying comments.  In the words of Senator Ted Cruz following a particularly vitriolic exchange during the Republican debate,

    “Is this really the national conversation that we want to be having ?”

    And I would add, is this really the behavior that we want to be modeling for our children ?

  3. tribeUSA

    Competition for high grades has amped up substantially over the last few decades, and the pressure to perform well academically has, to my understanding worked back from high school to junior high school now. So the students are in an environment of greater competition and of greater levels of overall stress than several decades ago. It seems to me that this may be an important factor behind the increase in bullying behavior, as some young students retreat into support groups of several peers that may be at odds with other such groups, and occassionally this erupts into bullying behavior by some individuals, as a mechanism for relieving feelings of stress. As scholastic competition continues to amp up over the coming years, I would forecast that so will bullying behavior.

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