Hawaii Launches Anti Bullying Campaign

Graphic by Emily Metcalf
article top
Graphic by Emily Metcalf

HONOLULU – A series of student-produced public service announcements promoting safe schools will be hitting the airwaves in a statewide video campaign announced today by Governor Neil Abercrombie, the Hawaii State Board and Department of Education, University of Hawaii athletes and supporters.

Governor Abercrombie, BOE Chairman Don Horner and member Keith Amemiya, and Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi joined star UH athletes and students from Waianae High School’s award-winning Searider Productions today in announcing the six video PSAs at the Stan Sheriff Center.


The PSA spots, which were funded by First Hawaiian Bank, will air on numerous TV outlets, including KGMB, KHNL, and Oceanic Time Warner telecasts of UH and high school sports throughout the school year. UH also will showcase the PSAs on the scoreboard during games at Aloha Stadium and the Stan Sheriff Center.

The segments feature BOE member Amemiya, Superintendent Matayoshi, and UH’s Kanani Danielson (Wahine Volleyball), Richard Torres (Football), Jessica Iwata (Wahine Softball) and Miah Ostrowski (Football and Men’s Basketball) explaining the dangers of bullying and encouraging students and communities to help promote campus safety.

“We will make our schools safe for our children so they can concentrate on learning,” Governor Abercrombie said. “We are addressing bullying in all forms and are committed to working together so that every school has an antibullying plan.”

“Our students and educators deserve a safe and peaceful academic/school environment where they can maximize learning,” said Superintendent Matayoshi. “We are moving forward on a comprehensive systemic approach to address bullying through improved data gathering and analysis, professional development and training, and the proactive involvement of community and students. As citizens of Hawaii, we must all do our part to prevent and eliminate bullying. Improving the schools and communities in which we live is a shared responsibility.”

The PSAs come as the DOE and BOE are working on a comprehensive “peaceful schools” program that will employ best practices to combat bullying and ensure every student is respected, honored and valued. Annual training will be provided to faculty, staff and students, families and the community. Student behavior data will be routinely monitored, a confidential reporting system will be developed, and schools will adopt a program to prevent and respond to bullying promptly.

“Although the schools are fully committed to curbing bullying, they can’t do it alone,” said BOE member Amemiya. “Bullying isn’t just a school problem. Everyone, from family members to friends and the entire community at large needs to work together to curb bullying.”

To view the PSAs, please visit: https://doe.k12.hi.us/harassment/Anti-Bullying-PSAs/index.htm

The BOE and DOE will continue to discuss the implementation of the “peaceful schools” program today during the Board’s General Business Meeting at 2:15 p.m. at the Queen Liliuokalani Building.

Submitted by Alex Da Silva, Communications Specialist, Hawaii State Department of Education