CONGRESSIONAL HEARING ON FEDERAL ANTI BULLYING LAW
WHY SUPPORT OUR INVESTIGATIVE HEARING?:
The Monster March started with teenagers we’d extensively trained to counsel peers on dozens of sensitive topics from addictions and bullying to sexual assault and suicide. Every week, we provide emotional support and referrals to depressed teens across the country. We're trusted to listen in as bullied kids share story after story about how it starts, what it does to them and why most of them don’t report it. We understand bullying. We regularly monitor and expose it to raise awareness on how vicious and vulgar its become. We intervene in suicide bullying cases. We believe our best hope for preventing bullying is by empowering teens to positively influence their peers.
Our Monster March families inspire much of our determination. From the moment their bullied child or teen killed him or herself - -through the agonizing process of pursuing painful answers - - these families have felt the burn and the hit of every barrier, hurdle and land mine thrown in front of them in their quest for justice. They share their hard-knock lessons with us and Congress needs to hear them.
We've supported many of our families as they've testified for more effective state laws. Sadly, too many walk away disappointed that critical elements of a promising bill were left out or ignored. We've learned a few families' voices aren't loud enough. And, even in states with laws that look good on paper, bullied teenagers are stil killing themselves at an alarming rate.
At this writing, 5 bullied American kids have committed suicide in the last two weeks. Every year,160,000 American kids dread even the thought of going to school where hallways are ruled by bullies. So, they stay home and miss out on education. This is your chance to do something about it.
The Monster March has built the most comprehensive library of American bullied suicides. In every case we research and write for our "Teens We've Lost" gallery, we carefully examine how parents, peers, schools, police, mental health experts and lawmakers handled the tragedy. Our documentation reveals a startling portrait few people have yet to recognize.
Our examinations show, in the majority of more than 100 recent bullied American teen suicides:
*Parents didn't know their child was being bullied.
*Parents didn't monitor their child's online activity
*Schools were asked to intervene in the bullying but didn't.
*After the sucides, the same schools denied having had knowledge of bullying.
*Counselors lacked training on how to recognize and handle bullying.
*Police were quick to dismiss bullying and ignored leads.
*In cyber bullying, social networks refused to delete tormenting comments.
*State laws failed to address glaring issues that allow bullying.
We all know that, in order to find a solution, you must first identify the problem. We’re certain Congress doesn’t realize the collective severity of what ‘s been allowed to go on. We believe an investigative committee--that listens--is our best hope for all American kids everywhere and that one child is as important as another.
Members of Congress have advised us not to deliver our signatures with a proposed federal law already set. “The most effective way to achieve such a law is to first present the facts, then your recommendations and then to work with a committee toward realistic solutions.” Once our hearing date is scheduled, we will solicit more recommendations, which we’ll take with us to Washington D.C. in an organized presentation.
We are grateful for the many anti-bullying people, groups and crusades that started before us and who offer things we don’t. We believe our “strength is in numbers” and we invite you to unite with us as one.
While you are reading this and are contemplating whether to sign, 20 more of our children have fallen victim to bullying. An American child is bullied every 7 seconds.
As the father of a bullied son I could have lost, I am grateful to all our families and teenagers who’ve turned their pain into action for others. I’m leading our petition for every man, woman and child who has ever had to suffer the pain of bullying.
Please sign…and share…and JOIN our Monster March. Tell us on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/youthvoicetv) you’d like to get involved.
As our Monster March Teens love to ask:
“WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?”
-Congressional Hearing Petition Director, Matthew Bent
- United States Congress
Speaker of the House John Boehner
Dear House Speaker Boehner,
I’m writing you today to urge you to hold a Congressional hearing on a federal law that will effectively prevent bullying in our schools and on the Internet. We want justice for the hundreds of American bullied teens who’ve committed suicide and for the millions of bullied American teens who go to school each day fearing intimidation, torment and isolation. This congressional hearing must include testimony from families who've lost a child to bullied suicide as well as from bullied teenagers- -all of whom know better than anyone- -the tragic costs of harassment. They'll provide first- hand accounts of issues before and after death as well as realistic solutions to combat our deadly epidemic.
In each bullied child suicide, The Monster March has documented how schools, mental health professionals, social networks, law enforcement and media have handled the tragedy. As members and supporters, we are confident you will receive the most in-depth research linking bullying to teen suicide as well as the most accurate evidence of societal failures that must change. We support California Representative Mike Honda and his 46-member Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus which we also urge to encourage this Congressional Hearing.
Please uphold justice by scheduling this hearing within the next months as we count down to our official “Monster March Against Bullying” to be held- -simultaneously- - in Washington DC and in all American states where we’ve lost a bullied teen to suicide. Our event is set for October 12th, 2013.
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