Even after heavy media-driven coverage on the topic of bullying in years past, the issue still remains fresh on the minds of kids! Interestingly enough, a lot of kids and adults are interested in valuable and reasonable solutions to help stop bullying according to Cartoon Network’s Vice President of Social Responsibility, Alice Cahn.
The Cartoon Network documentary, “Stop Bullying: Speak Up,” which is set to air on Sunday, March 18 at 5:30 p.m. (ET/PT) is part of an initiative to “really focus on teaching kids those behaviors they want to learn…those behaviors that make them allies and active bystanders.” Needless to say, the documentary is not an attempt at teaching kids to physically fight back bullying, but to teach them so they will “know how to step in safely” and “what to say that’s going to be effective.”
“We also need to teach adults what to do when they [kids] come with questions,” says Cahn. She also pointed out that kids should be able to tell an adult they can trust as well as be able to go to an adult who can do something about the bullying.
Cahn pointed out that while doing the documentary she realized that the mindset amongst most youth when it comes to bullying is “can somebody help me, I think I can fix this.” While some youth may chose to stay in the shadows, many others are interested in trying to make a difference.
Cahn and I also talked briefly about one of the articles recently posted on Cartoon Daily News regarding my own experiences with bullies. Cahn addressed the feeling some children and teens may have when they speak up and at the same time their fears of negative results.
“Its that hiding…that shame, that maybe I did something wrong, that makes you as the victim feel worse,” said Cahn.
Some may find it a little peculiar for Cartoon Network to be the place to promote an anti-bully initiative, but Cahn made it clear that it was Cartoon Network’s obligation to not only entertain their 98 million plus viewers, but to also consider the overall well being of their young viewers.
“There is no better place than Cartoon Network because we got kids who really care about this issue,” said Cahn. “Children come to us because they want to spend time with our characters…we are there for their entertainment and engagement…but we are a youth network…and we have a responsibility.” Cartoon Network also partnered with their colleagues on brands like CNN and Time, Inc. in order to promote the discussion on bullying.
Cartoon Network is planning to continue the discussion of bullying as long as needed and intends to continue their outreach in the community.
“This is something, like anything, when you’re raising children, you need to keep saying it over and over and over again and say it different ways because kids learn in different ways…we will continue to focus on this message,” said Cahn.
“Stop Bullying: Speak Up,” will air on Sunday, March 18 at 5:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network.
- Stop Bullying, Part 2: The Boy Who Was Bullied (cartoondailynews.com)