Welcoming Schools - A project from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation

From the Field: South Florida Stands Up to Stop Bullying

By Guest Contributor, January 30, 2013

This month's story was submitted by the South Florida HRC Steering Committee.

Speaker at Anti-Bullying ConferenceHow do you get over 400 students, administrators, parents and community activists to attend an evening anti-bullying summit?

The HRC South Florida Steering Committee will tell you that you achieve this with lots of hard work and collaboration. That’s what led to a successful 1st Annual Bullying Summit hosted by Sunrise Middle School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The HRC steering committee brought on the Broward County School District (the 6th largest in the nation); The Broward County School Board's Office of Diversity, Cultural Outreach and Prevention; the Broward County Sheriff's department; local politicians and six other partner organizations to assist in the promotion of the event.

Student and parent involvement was also key to the success of the evening. The event featured art related to bullying that students created and the Sunrise Middle School Drama Club showcased an anti-bullying play, "The New Kid". Twenty facilitators, including Welcoming Schools Associate Director, Kisha L. Webster led small groups of parents and students in solving scenarios. And Mayor Jack Seiler of Fort Lauderdale brought the auditorium to its feet with his passionate message for acceptance and diversity.

The South Florida HRC Steering Committee is not resting on their laurels; as Andy McNeil, a steering committee member and organizer, put it, “Starting the conversation was the goal and we certainly reached that goal on a variety of levels. We can’t wait to do it bigger and better next year!"

Check out some highlights from the event below!

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