From Sunlen Miller:
“I’m not here to ask you to accept my friend request,” President Obama says in a video message released today by the White House on Facebook.
Rather — the video message from President Obama and the First Lady comes in advance of the White House conference on bullying prevention to be held at the White House on Thursday.
On Thursday the Obamas will convene students, parents, teachers and others to the White House for the conference — which will “bring together communities from across the nation who have been affected by bullying as well as those who are taking action to address it,” the White House said in announcing the summit.
“We want you to be a part of it, “President Obama says in the Facebook video of Thursday’s meetings.
“We'll be talking with students, teachers and parents about how to stop bullying and the responsibility each of us has to make sure our children treat each other with respect,” Mrs. Obama says. “It’s something that we care about not only as president and first lady, but also as parents. It's tough enough being a kid today, and our children deserve a chance to learn and grow without constantly being picked on, made fun of or worse."
The president says that for a long time bullying was treated “as an unavoidable part of growing up, “but notes that more and more the harmful effects can be seen.
“The good news is that there's a growing movement, led by young people themselves, to make our schools and communities places where no one is made to feel alone, or afraid for being different,” President Obama says, “Where all of our children can thrive. They understand that while technology has allowed us to connect as never before – and that's a good thing – it shouldn't affect how we treat each other.”
Parents, students, coaches, and teachers are all being asked by the White House to join the summit as well as people at home to participate in the conversation online. The Obamas direct people in their message to go to StopBullying.gov or to go to Facebook for updates on the summit.
“Because putting a stop to bullying is a responsibility we all share,” the president says.