Obamas Hope to Tackle Bullying With White House Conference


Bullying is something that “affects every single young person in our country,” President Obama said in a public service announcement on Facebook this morning.

The Obamas released the PSA to raise attention for a special White House conference to prevent bullying Thursday, according to a “Good Morning America” exclusive first look.

The conference will unite students, teachers and parents to discuss ways to prevent and respond to the estimated 13 million students a year who are bullied in American schools.

“For a long time, bullying was treated as an unavoidable part of growing up but more and more we’re seeing how harmful it can be for our kids, especially when it follows them from their school, their phone, their computer screen,” the president said in the announcement.

But the Obamas said in the announcement that there are resources and leaders in communities who are working to curb bullying.

“It’s tough enough being a kid today,” Michelle Obama said. “Our children deserve the chance to learn and grow without constantly being picked on, made fun of or worse.”

The conference will provide information on recognizing risk factors of bullying and violence prevention.

Participants can join in the conversation online at stopbullying.gov or on Facebook.

Sirdeaner Walker of New York plans to be at the conference.

Her son, Carl, killed himself after repeated anti-gay bullying in 2009. He was 11.

“Just because he is not in sight doesn’t mean he isn’t still in our hearts,” she said.

The Obamas hope that people will participate and take action “because putting a stop to bullying is a responsibility we all share.”

ABC News’ Dan Harris contributed to this report.

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