The other day we told you the city of Fort Worth was set to proclaim Bullying Awareness Day on Oct. 12, which will mark the one-year anniversary of gay Councilman Joel Burns’ “It Gets Better” speech. Courtesy of the city’s YouTube channel, below is video of Burns addressing the council on Tuesday morning and reading the proclamation. A press release from Burns’ office, along with the full text of the proclamation, is after the jump.
The City of Fort Worth to proclaim October 12, 2011 as Bullying Awareness Day
Fort Worth-This morning, the City of Fort Worth proclaimed October 12, 2011 Bullying Awareness Day as part of an ongoing conversation to encourage citizens to do their part in ensuring that all children have a caring and respectful place to feel safe, learn and socialize.
“We have made great progress on this issue and the conversation is continuing in living rooms, classrooms and communities across the nation. But families and communities continue to be impacted by bullying every day all over the world, and children are continuing to take their own lives,” said Burns.
Last year, on October 12, 2010, Councilman Burns used his personal time at a city council meeting to speak to citizens, parents and educators about their responsibility as adults to end bullying. His message also included a personal plea to those youth who were considering suicide to stick around for a life that will get better and a message of hope to empower youth to speak out and stand up for anyone who might be experiencing bullying.
“I spoke out in the hopes that a few people in our community would hear my story and feel supported, and maybe inspired to take action in support of someone they knew was suffering. I continue to speak out because those youth are still suffering today and it is our responsibility as adults and members of our community to ensure that all youth feel safe and loved,” said Burns.
Councilman Burns continues to be a spokesperson and advocate for this issue. Earlier this year, he was invited by the President to participate in the White House Anti Bullying Summit and has lobbied in Washington for the passage of the Safe Schools Improvement Act. Burns has also worked extensively with Texas Legislators to craft, advance and pass HB1942 to give educators additional tools to reduce bullying.
“Legislation alone will not solve this issue. Bullying is multi-faceted and there is no easy or clear solution. This is about changing attitudes at home and in our community from wherever we stand – as elected officials, educators, parents, grandparents, and members of the community. We all have to do our part,” says Burns
Bullying Awareness Day Proclamation Text
WHEREAS, bullying, the abusive treatment, use of force or coercion to affect others, fosters a climate of fear and disrespect that seriously impairs the physical and psychological health of its victims creating conditions that negatively affect learning, thereby undermining the ability of youth to achieve their full potential; and,
WHEREAS, bullying comes in various forms and the statistics show that the United States has a growing problem among teens with most incidents taking place inside the school while a smaller number of them occur outside on the school grounds, on the school bus or on the way to and from school; and,
WHEREAS, the reasons for bullying include but are not limited to race, gender, physical or mental disability, religious affiliation and sexual orientation with a growing number of those targeted opting to commit suicide rather than continue to suffer or seek outside assistance; and,
WHEREAS, the City of Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Independent School District encourage all citizens to do their part in ensuring that all children have a safe, caring and respectful place to feel safe, learn and socialize; and,
WHEREAS, by empowering our youth to stand up and acknowledge the affects that bullying has on those being targeted, we can make a difference and improve the world for future generations, NOW THEREFORE:
We, the Fort Worth City Council, do hereby proclaim October 12, 2011, as
BULLYING AWARENESS DAY
in the City of Fort Worth.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, we have hereunto set our hands and caused the Official Seal of the City of Fort Worth, Texas to be affixed this 4th day of October, A.D., 2011.