GOVERNOR PATRICK JOINS STUDENTS AND TEACHERS TO RALLY AGAINST BULLYING
Members of the Governor's Youth Council marched their way to the State House where they joined Governor Patrick and Secretary of Education Paul Reville for a rally against bullying. (Photo Credit: Michela Finnegan / Governor's Office) View additional photos.
BOSTON – Thursday, October 18, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today joined members of his Youth Council and over 100 students from across the Commonwealth to rally against bullying at the Massachusetts State House. At the rally, Governor Patrick proclaimed October “Bullying Prevention Month” in the Commonwealth.
Students marched from a screening of “Bully”, a documentary about the impacts of bullying, across the Boston Common, to the State House.
"These young people understand that together, we all have a stake in ensuring that every child feels safe and protected in their schools and neighborhoods,” said Governor Patrick. “I am proud and inspired by their determination and efforts to create a better and brighter Commonwealth for all Massachusetts children.”
“We are deeply committed to ensuring every student has the chance to reach his or her potential in a safe and supportive learning space,” said Secretary of Education Paul Reville. “It takes the courage of these young people here today, standing with caring adults in their communities, to make that a reality.”
Following the rally, Council members engaged in a discussion with students about their reactions to the film and their personal experiences with bullying.
“My generation is your future leaders, we can all stand together to make change for the better of all people,” said Shane Graham-Bevis, a student from Lowell and an anti-bullying advocate.
“I believe everyone deserves to feel safe and be treated with dignity and respect,” said Kiara Lum, a Governor’s Youth Council member from Hopedale. “That is why the Council and I created this campaign, to help youth across the state, not just a select few, and to spread awareness and acceptance of others.”
"The significance of events such as the screening of the film “Bully” and the Blackout Bullying Rally is that it puts a spotlight on an issue that affects youth in the United States and the world every day,” said Manny Cruz, a Governor’s Youth Council Member from Salem. “By participating in such an event, we not only spread awareness, but we plant seeds for a much needed culture change in which behavior such as bullying isn’t tolerated."
The rally was organized by the Governor’s Office of Community Affairs and sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee.
The Governor’s Youth Council today also launched an anti-bullying public service announcement (PSA) campaign. The “Stand Against Bullying” PSAs are available on Governor Patrick’s YouTube Channel. View the PSAs.
The Governor’s Statewide Youth Council is comprised of 28 young people ages 14 - 20, representing all 14 counties of Massachusetts. Council members were selected to advise Governor Patrick on key issues affecting youth across the Commonwealth and have identified youth violence prevention and education as the two issues they will focus on this year. Members serve for two years and attend bi-monthly meetings. Below is a list of the Youth Council members: