Burns to attend White House anti-bullying summit

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host an anti-bullying conference at the White House on Thursday, March 10. City councilman Joel Burns will attend.

Students, parents and teachers will discuss how to stop bullying with the president and first lady. They issued an invitation on facebook to join the conversation about stopping bullying at StopBullying.gov.

The president and first lady will open the meeting in the East Room of the White House. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will participate in the afternoon.

Topics listed for discussion in smaller groups include in-school policies, in-school programs, community-based programs, cyber bullying and campus-based programs.

StopBullying.gov confronts the issue of bullying against the LGBT community squarely addressing the issue on the site’s front page and linking to a section of resources that begins with a statement of rights.

A 2009 survey of 7,000 LGBT youth found that:

  • Eight in 10 LGBT students had been verbally harassed at school
  • Four in 10 had been physically harassed at school
  • Six in 10 felt unsafe at school
  • One in five had been the victim of a physical assault at school

 

—  David Taffet

Marking 50 years since JFK’s inauguration

President John F. Kennedy

I’m probably the only one in the Dallas Voice office who remembers the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, which happened 50 years ago today. I remember being inspired then and was moved watching it again.

Several weeks before the election, my father came home from work one day and told how he had met Kennedy. He was stuck in traffic on the East Side Highway in Manhattan. A limousine pulled up next to him just as they came to a complete standstill.

Kennedy was sitting in the back seat with his window open. My father unrolled his window, leaned out of the car and shook the future president’s hand, wishing him good luck.

Traffic began to move and the limo moved ahead.

Kennedy, he said, was gracious and charming. And something like that couldn’t possibly happen today.

—  David Taffet