Today is National Safe Schools Day sponsored by the Safe Schools Action Network. Hawaii launched an ambitious anti-bullying initiative today, with a series of public service announcements featuring several of the University of Hawaii's star athletes, reports the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
The spots, funded by First Hawaiian Bank, will air on several television stations and sports telecasts. The anti-bullying initiative is aimed at increasing monitoring of bullying offenses and improving efforts to stop bullying. [...]
The Department of Education will present its complete bullying plan at a Board of Education meeting today. At a news conference this morning, BOE Chairman Don Horner said “today is the first step” to address the problem of bullying in public schools.
Also at the news confernece, Gov. Neil Abercrombie recounted his own experiences with bullying as a child growing up in Buffalo, N.Y., where he said he was singled out because he wasn’t Polish, Irish or Italian. "When somebody picks on you because of your name, let me tell you, that’s rough," Abercrombie said. He added, "When you treat someone else disrespectfully it doesn't make you bigger. It makes you smaller."
It;s been a busy year for equality in Hawaii. Earlier this year, two of Abercrombie's first acts after assuming office was appointing openly lesbian Judge Sabrina McKenna to the Hawaii Supreme Court and signing the civil unions bill into law.
The PSAs feature UH’s Kanani Danielson (Volleyball), Richard Torres (Football), Jessica Iwata (Softball) and Miah Ostrowski (Football and Men's Basketball). Watch several of the PSAs HERE.
Watch one of the PSAs plus KHOU's report WHEN YOU JUMP ...