When children feel threatened, they cannot learn—that’s the message U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will deliver at the Department’s first-ever bullying summit to be held Wednesday-Thursday, Aug. 11-12, at the Washington Hilton Hotel, 1919 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. The goal of the summit is to engage governmental and nongovernmental partners in crafting a national strategy to reduce and end bullying. The Department’s Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools Kevin Jennings and Assistant Secretary for the Office for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali will join the Secretary for this two-day summit.
Administrator Mary Wakefield of the Health Resources and Services Administration; Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin; Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli; other representatives from the U.S. departments of Justice (DOJ), Agriculture (USDA), Defense (DOD) and Interior (DOI); superintendents; researchers; corporate leaders; community partners; and students also will attend the summit.
Secretary Duncan will give remarks at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11, and Assistant Secretary Ali will give remarks on the civil rights issues surrounding bullying at 9:20 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 12. Later, at noon Thursday, Assistant Deputy Secretary Jennings will close out the summit with a call to action for a comprehensive national effort to address bullying during the 2010-2011 school year by all summit participants. Senior officials from other federal agencies are speaking as well (see below).
The summit is hosted by the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools in conjunction with DOJ, HHS, USDA, DOD and DOI. It will focus on three areas: Research (what we know and additional gaps we need to fill); Programs (which programs work in combating bullying and areas where further programmatic development is needed); and Policy (how can policy at the local, state and federal levels help prevent bullying).
“Bullying behavior is not only troubling in and of itself but if left unaddressed, can quickly escalate into harassment, violence and tragedies,” Assistant Deputy Secretary Jennings says. “We hope this summit will help us get ahead of the game by focusing on prevention and doing everything we can to bring this plague to an end.”
Over the past year, the U.S. Department of Education has stepped up its efforts to address bullying to include a new Safe and Supportive Schools grant program, a pilot that will enable states to measure school safety at the building level and to provide federal funds for interventions in those schools with the greatest needs. In addition, the Department’s blueprint for reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act calls for a dramatic increase in funding for its Successful, Safe and Healthy Students grants program, which is an expansion of the Safe and Supportive Schools pilot.
Wednesday, Aug. 11
9 a.m. – U.S. Education Secretary Duncan speaks
1 p.m. – HRSA Administrator Wakefield speaks
1:15 p.m. – Surgeon General Benjamin speaks
Thursday, Aug. 12
8:40 a.m. – Associate Attorney General Perrelli speaks
9:20 a.m. – Assistant Secretary Ali speaks
Noon – Assistant Deputy Secretary Jennings speaks
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
Administrator Mary Wakefield, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin
Kevin Jennings, assistant deputy secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education
Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights, U.S. Department of Education
Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli
Aug. 11-12, 2010
Washington Hilton Hotel
1919 Connecticut Avenue N.W.