Cartoon Network Goes Back To School with Anti-Bullying Message

17 Sep 2013 - By TW Staff

(Above: A scene from Cartoon Network's upcoming feature film, Contest, about students who are forced to work together and form an unlikely friendship.)

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have found a direct link between childhood suicide (the fourth leading cause of death for children ages 10 to 14) and bullying in schools, and The American Academy of Pediatrics has identified bullying as a national health crisis.

Stop Bullying: Speak Up LogoBut this fall, as millions of children are hitting the books, Cartoon Network is doing some homework of its own - recruiting and engaging new allies to support and expand the network's award-winning pro-social campaign Stop Bullying: Speak Up.

Since the campaign's launch in 2010, Cartoon Network has partnered with parents, schools, teachers, celebrities, kids' organizations, Facebook and even the White House to get the message out that kids themselves have the power to prevent bullying on every front: in schools, on the playground and online.

The networks' fall 2013 line-up includes the world television premiere of the new movie, Contest, on Oct. 6, which tells the story of a bully and his victim, as well as a new original PSA, starring Jeremy Shada and Shauna Case from Incredible Crew, which will play on Cartoon Network throughout 2014. Rounding out the campaign, are book giveaways, essay contests, mentoring programs and a nation-wide rally through Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Details on each event are below:

SEPTEMBER 2013

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Essay Contest: Stop Bullying: Speak Up will serve as an official partner for the annual CBCF national essay contest, which focuses on issues that impact the lives of African Americans. Open to high school students from the districts of CBC members, the contest's theme this year is bullying prevention. Submissions are judged by a special committee with the top three winning essays eligible for a monetary award scholarship. Winners and their families are invited to Washington to present their essays in person at the Annual Legislative Conference on Sept. 19, where Cartoon Network will photograph the live presentations to post a journalistic gallery online at the Facebook Stop Bullying: Speak Up page.

New Rosalind Wiseman Book, Masterminds and Wingmen: Helping Your Son Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker Room Tests, Girlfriends and the New Realities of Guy World Launches Sept. 10: Cartoon Network will promote Rosalind Wiseman's (Queen Bees & Wannabes) new book - a landmark piece that shows parents, educators and coaches how to reach out and help boys overcome their most common yet difficult challenges. Wiseman is a renowned author, family expert and one of Stop Bullying: Speak Up's original advisors. The network will offer a preview video posting and a 250 book promotional giveaway with Random House on the Facebook Stop Bullying: Speak Up page in September.

All-New PSA to Debut on Sept. 23: Rising young stars Jeremy Shada and Shauna Case from Cartoon Network's sketch-comedy series Incredible Crew will appear in a new Stop Bullying: Speak Up PSA this fall that presents the campaign's key message, "Speak up. It's what you do," in a music-video style. The new PSA will officially premiere on Monday, Sept. 23, at 6:58 p.m. on Cartoon Network and online at CartoonNetwork.com and StopBullyingSpeakUp.com.

BGCA Flag Raising Launch Across 4,000 U.S. Locations with Congresswoman Linda Sánchez: U.S. Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-38), who introduced the Safe Schools Improvement Act, will participate in a rally highlighting Cartoon Network's Stop Bullying: Speak Up flag raising program (launched earlier this year) to more than 4,000 Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Every BGCA club in the U.S. will raise or hang Stop Bullying: Speak Up flags to demonstrate its commitment to empowering kids to speak up against bullying. Additionally, Stop Bullying: Speak Up resource kits-which will now feature Cartoon Network and CNN's 2013 award-winning documentary, The Bully Effect-will be distributed with the flags to all BGCA clubs.

OCTOBER 2013

Emory University Mentorship Program: Stop Bullying: Speak Up is working with Emory University Center for Ethics to develop and introduce an innovative program that trains undergraduate students to mentor middle school students. The 2013-2014 pilot, scheduled to launch in early October, will place Emory's Ethics and Servant Leadership Forum (EASL) students in middle schools in Atlanta to promote and model bullying prevention education and behaviors. The curricula-to include Stop Bullying: Speak Up resources such as documentary videos and PSAs, educator guides, tip sheets and campaign bracelets-is being created with the goal of designing a mentorship program involving universities and public schools nationwide.

Contest movie posterNew Movie Contest to Premiere Oct. 6 on Cartoon Network: To leverage its powerful on-air content and to underscore the commitment to bullying prevention efforts, Cartoon Network has acquired exclusive world television premiere rights to a new feature film, Contest, that focuses on two students-one, a bully; the other, his victim-who are forced to work together and form an unlikely friendship. The stakes grow higher, old emotions resurface and the line between friend and foe is blurred. Contest will premiere on Sunday, Oct. 6.

Stop Bullying: Speak Up Content to be Featured in New Kits Sponsored by Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention: Stop Bullying: Speak Up and its award-winning documentary Speak Up, introduced by President Barack Obama, will be showcased within a new digital bullying prevention kit being created and distributed by The Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention as part of StopBullying.gov's new Youth Leadership Program. These kits will be targeted for youth serving organizations and community groups around the country, including National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS-a collaboration of over 70 national organizations promoting safe, healthy behaviors and leadership development among youth); and 4-H (Head, Heart, Hands and Health), an organization with more than 6.5 million U.S. members ages 5-21 in nearly 90,000 clubs, administered by the USDA, with the mission of "engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development." The Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention includes representatives from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, the Interior, and Justice, as well as the Federal Trade Commission and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Ad Council Partnership via PSAs: Cartoon Network's Stop Bullying: Speak Up and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. will continue to support the Ad Council's pro-social efforts, providing parent-targeted bullying prevention PSAs refreshed for 2013.

NOVEMBER 2013

International Bullying Prevention Conference: Cartoon Network's Stop Bullying: Speak Up will serve as a key sponsor of the annual international convention, scheduled to meet Nov. 10-12, 2013, in Nashville, TN. More than 800 key international influencers from corporate, non-profit, government and education arenas will meet to discuss bullying issues and prevention efforts on a worldwide basis. Cartoon Network Vice President of Social Responsibility Alice Cahn will serve as a keynote speaker with 4-H Clubs on an opening panel on Nov. 11.