Are you ready to speak up against bullying? (- Thinkstock)
Are you ready to speak up against bullying?
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Cartoon Network is challenging the public to clear its throat and tell the world "I speak up" in a chorus of 1 million videos. Participants are invited to declare those three words into their mobile devices and share their videos at www.StopBullyingSpeakUp.com, as well as to their own social media platforms using the hashtag ISpeakUp.

The drive is kicking off Cartoon Network's annual Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign, which will culminate during its Speak Up Week, Sept. 29 through Oct. 3 which in turn paves the way for National Bullying Prevention Month in October.

The goal, as Cartoon Network puts it: To collect 1 million user-generated videos that unite the voices of kids, parents, educators, celebrities and government officials, each committing to speak up when someone gets bullied.

Selected videos from participants will become part of campaign spots appearing on Cartoon Network, its digital platforms and Boomerang through October, the network said in making its announcement Thursday. It also will air public-service announcements with anti-bullying themes, and each day an onscreen "I Speak Up" tally will update how many participants have officially gone on record with videos and posts. (The website includes directions for sharing an "I Speak Up" video.)

Joining in the outreach are partner organizations including Boys and Girls Clubs of America, 4-H Clubs, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Federation of Teachers and the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention.

"We think it will be incredibly empowering for kids to know that a million people out there are speaking up for them," says Alice Cahn, Cartoon Network vice president of social responsibility.

While the video campaign is new this year, the network's anti-bullying initiative began in 2010. According to Cahn, it arose from research by the network in which kids said, among all the things that bothered them, that bullying could be most easily addressed if they only had others' support.

Among the kids' messages, according to Cahn: "It's not so much that I'm getting picked on, but I feel so terrible when my friends are picked on and I don't know what to do."

Cartoon Network's year-round "I Speak Out" website provides information resources for kids, parents and educators, all of whom may be primed to intervene when a bully strikes, but may not always know the best way to take action. (Turns out, even if direct confrontation isn't realistic for a kid, a gesture after the fact can be powerful: When the bullying is over, say something nice to the kid who was bullied.)

The campaign targets youngsters of elementary grades through early middle school, Cahn says, when getting bully-savvy can serve them well into high school and beyond.

"When we give them the right social and emotional grounding, it stays with them," she says. "We want to give kids confidence and competence when bullying happens, and to let them know they're not the only one."

Critical thinking challenge: Why is it more effective to unite the voices of kids, parents, educators, celebrities and government officials if its only kids that are victims? How does bullying affect people other than kids?

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COMMENTS (33)
  • KCheyenne-Cas
    9/09/2014 - 04:44 p.m.

    I think this is a great way to teach kids to speak up about bullying. To show them that bullying is serious and should not be done. I hope that not only kids but teens and adults all take this promise to speak up.

  • yasming-Koc
    9/10/2014 - 03:37 a.m.

    I personally believe it's empowering for a side variety of people getting involved in this campaign. Every voice is deserved to be heard and Cartoon Network is sending out an amazing message not only for the younger generation but the older as well.

  • amberly2-Bor
    9/10/2014 - 10:28 a.m.

    i absolutly love this article! its amazing how so many people want to prevent bullying. bullying is wrong and this is a perfect way to stop it!
    i recommend this article to anyone who wants to stop bullying!

  • yarelyo-Koc
    9/10/2014 - 07:30 p.m.

    I think that it is ok for people to put up videos to stop bulling but just because they put up the video doesn't mean that they will stop doing it . Hopefully this does push people to stop bulling others and hurt people .

  • AStephanie-Cas
    9/10/2014 - 09:31 p.m.

    I absolutely love this article. To be honest I believe bulling is one of the worse things someone can do. Children through young adults everywhere are bullied on a daily base. It could be just because of what cloths they wear to the way they talk. We as people are all different, yes in many ways, but we are all equal. The human race has became so harsh on each other picking at everything someone does. But is it because of the way children are raised or is it because they think its cool? We honestly may not know what the reason is that the bully may actually be the bully. I remember when I was in middle-school I had a teacher who once told me "No one is so heartless that they would wish for anyone to kill themselves from being bullied. Every person has a situation they are going through and maybe the bully feels neglected by his own family or is hurting so he takes it out on other classmates." This has stuck with me for so long because maybe, it is true; a person can just be in a bad time period, but I'm not saying that it is okay for kids to do this because it is wrong. No body should make someone feel so little of themselves that they almost feel like nothing. Every person out there is loved by someone even if they don't see it.
    I believe it is more effective to unite the voices of kids, parents, educators, celebrities and government officials, even if kids are only the victims because children look up to other adults. Even if by doing this children don't really stop bulling at least we can say we tried. We had a voice in letting every child out there who has been bullied know that they are not alone. We can let them know to hang on in there and to try talking to other peers and adults. No person should ever feel so alone in a room full of people. Bulling doesn't only effect the person it is happening to but also effects the people around them. It effects the family and their friends. As being the oldest child I would never want to see my younger sister get bullied. I could never watch the pain in her eyes even through she would be smiling. This is why I believe that by everyone having a voice, standing up to tell children they aren't alone we would give them confidence to stand strong and know that, "Its only a bad day, not a bad life." as Johnny Depp once said.

  • NashMcComsey-Ste
    9/11/2014 - 10:12 a.m.

    Fantastic stuff, anything to speak up against bullying, especially investing in it as well as Cartoon Network seems to be, is a great thing to see. Bullying is a problem, even if you don't necessarily see it happen. So it's great to see other people actively trying to stomp this out.

  • NJesse-Cas
    9/11/2014 - 07:49 p.m.

    This is such a smart idea! Usually, Cartoon Network is a channel that younger kids watch because they find it entertaining. It is so smart for Cartoon Network to stand up against bullying and promote a good cause! Children should know about Bullying at an early age, and should be taught how to treat others with respect. If children are not taught this when they are still young, they may go on to judge other people for the wrong reasons! Cartoon Network is doing a great thing by targeting this and bringing it to attention!

  • HNia-Cas
    9/11/2014 - 07:56 p.m.

    I think that bullying is one of the worst things you can do to someone. Bullies are usually very insecure and because of that they like to make someone else feel less than they are. Bullying is a terrible thing to do to someone and it can lead to very bad things that we never want to see happen to someone. Sometimes it is more effective to unite the voices of kids, parents, educators, celebrities and government officials to speak out against bullying because hearing it from people you actually listen and look up to , to speak about bullying can help someone make a different choice on how they treat someone.

  • ShaniaWentz-Ste
    9/12/2014 - 09:25 a.m.

    Bullying is something that is not tolerated with me. If I ever see anyone getting bullied, I will be the one that goes to tell and helps the victim. I don't like bullying. I hope that bullying soon ends.

  • TF00Music
    9/12/2014 - 01:03 p.m.

    its more effective to unite the voices or kids, parents, celebrities and government officials because people listen to the people that they look up to. they don't listen to people that they don't like or don't care about at all. Kids listen to celebrities like Beyonc, or someone else that they like (I don't like Beyonc I just used her as an example because that's the first popular name that came into my mind.).

    Bullying is affecting people other than kids by them hating their jobs because they get bullied by the people that they work with. or, even with family members that they see every day with verbal abuse. I might be thinking out loud but, its true.

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