With the Stop Bullying: Speak Up social pledge app, Facebook and Time Warner hope to start a national conversation about bullying and support schools in their bullying prevention efforts.
The pledges for students and adults seek to get everyone on the same page about what they can do to stop bullying. And two actions are crucial to solving this issue: help stop and prevent bullying, and create a culture where bullying is not acceptable behavior, said Alice Cahn, Cartoon Network's vice president for social responsibility.
The Cartoon Network is reaching kids with this message when they come to the network for entertainment and are open to receiving new messages, either online or on TV. And Facebook is reaching out to adults and teens with the same consistent message that they can become active witnesses to help prevent bullying rather than bystanders.
"What I hope will come out is the beginnings of a national conversation about this issue with everyone having the same information about strategies and tactics to begin addressing this problem."
Since the app launched on Sunday, a few days before the second annual federal Bullying Prevention Summit, more than 16,000 people have taken the pledge to help stop bullying. Of those, about 3,000 were students. Most of the pledges have come from residents of New York and California, according to the app's interactive map.
The pledge for adults emphasizes modeling proper behavior and supporting schools in their bullying-prevention efforts:
And the pledge for students focuses on what they can do to stand up for bullying:
"It's terrific that we are giving students the tactics they need to help protect themselves and to feel safe at school and in their community, but wouldn't it be that much better if we didn't need to teach these kids these skills because this kind of behavior didn't happen? So that's the ultimate goal," Cahn said.
Along with these pledges, people can create or join groups through the app for their school. The campaign hopes that a student, a teacher or school counselor, and a parent will lead these groups to speak up against bullying.
And both Facebook and Time Warner want to support teachers, administrators and all school staff so they have the skills and training to deal with bullying.
"Really that's all we think about: Making sure that people have the skills they need and the support they need to address this issue."