By Natalie MAIER
In response to California’s new state Senate Bill SCR-100 that declared Dec. 12, 2012 as California’s Bullying Prevention Day, Toll Middle School in Glendale held a press conference to raise awareness of and put an end to bullying.
Carol Liu, state Senator of District 21, attended the press conference with Glendale Unified School Board Vice President Nayiri Nahabedian, Peace Over Violence director of Policy and Evaluation Emily Austin, and Kids Resource founder Gerry Orz who is 10 years old.
“This topic of bullying is very important to us and our communities must work together to make sure that we stop this harmful behavior,” said Liu to the audience, many of whom were students. “I am a former school teacher and my highest priority is providing safe and quality for you. Awareness and education are our best tools.”
Liu went on to say that she was inspired by Orz’s film, “Day of Silence,” an informative video about the effects of bullying. Orz wrote, directed, produced and starred in the film. It can be viewed at his website KidsResource.org.
Peace Over Violence is a social service agency that aims to stop violence of all forms. On behalf of the organization, Austin shared their philosophy, saying that bullying is a “learned behavior and can be unlearned.”
“Bullying is prevented when we as a community keep the lines of communication open between children, adults and everyone in your life,” Austin said.