NEW YORK (AP) — Next fall, when millions of kids tune into Cartoon Network to watch Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo and other favorites, they’ll encounter something new — an ambitious campaign to enlist them as foot soldiers in the fight against bullying.
Unlike many bullying programs, this one is geared toward middle school, where experts say bullying is most common. It also targets not bullies nor the bullied, but kids who witness bullying, giving them appropriate techniques to intervene.
“There are specific strategies young people can learn to make a difference in their schools and communities,” said Alice Cahn, Cartoon Network’s vice president of social responsibility. “We decided to focus on those who watch bullying happen — the bystander community — who know they should do something, but are not sure what.”
The anti-bullying campaign includes content in the cartoons themselves, in public service ads, in an online curriculum and on CNN, which will include complementary programming for parents.
I don’t want to say anything before all the facts are in—but should an animated woodland creature who’s been tormenting a shotgun-toting milquetoast unable to pronounce the letters “L” or “R” for seventy years really be moralizing on the topic of “bullying”?