According to StopBullying.gov, an average of 49% of youth in grades 4-12 are bullied (there is also bullying in preschool-grade 3). More than 70% of youth have witnessed bullying in their schools. Sadly, the old adage “Sticks and stones….” is a falsehood. The effects of bullying can lead to poor academic performance, depression and physical issues. This is an issue we can stop through proactive conversations with kids about treating people with respect and kindness. When bystanders intervene, instances of bullying stop 57% of the time.
To help communities start to have these critical conversations, the family of Tyler Clementi created a program in 2010 in response to the bullying their son endured as a freshman at Rutgers University by his roommate and others. A bright, talented and creative young man, Tyler became a victim of cyber-bullying in college which ultimately led to his death by suicide. Tyler’s family wanted to do something to stop any other person from being bullied. They formed the Tyler Clementi Foundation and spoke with experts, parents, educators and kids, who all told them that the best way to end bullying is through prevention. This led to the birth of the #Day1 Campaign to end bullying.
The #Day1 Campaign is a free, research-based and simple-to-use program that supports and ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to bullying behavior and expectations within school. It does so in the following ways:
- Recognizes a person of leadership such as a teacher, principal or coach
- Provides clear language that addresses specific harassing and bullying behavior
- Offers tools for bystanders to become “upstanders”
- Ensures there is verbal confirmation that the expectations are understood
This program is not intended to replace any current programming in a school. It simply outlines what bullying is and offers additional tools to end it. It’s been used by schools and community groups all over the U.S. to supplement their anti-bullying programs.
How Can Your PTA Help?
Encourage school and community leaders to bring the #Day1 Campaign to your schools, community groups, teams and after-school groups. Parents, students and coaches have all used the #Day1 program with their communities and you can, too. Simply go to Day1Campaign.com and download sample toolkit materials. They are available for all age groups so they’ll work for all schools. Feel free to make this program your own! As long as the wording stays the same, you can custom-fit the #Day1 Campaign for your school. After you use #Day1, let us know how it has made an impact!
No kid deserves to go through life being attacked. Through the collaboration of parents, faculty, staff and the community, we can address bullying and finally put an end to it from #Day1.
For more info, email us at or find our twitter @TylerClementi.
Katey Aquilina is the coordinator of the #Day1 Campaign of the Tyler Clementi Foundation.