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What Do Lady Gaga, the S.F. Giants and Obama Have in Common?

What Do Lady Gaga, the SF Giants and Obama Have in Common

By Jane Morse

Staff Writer

hat do Lady Gaga, the San Francisco Giants and President Obama have in common?

They are all taking a stand against bullying.

The president and the pop singer–songwriter both have talked about being bullied themselves as children, and they are joined by a number of high-profile Americans, from comedian Bill Cosby to major league baseball players, in speaking out against abusive behavior.

In an interview with Fuse, a television network devoted to music, Lady Gaga describes getting bullied and made fun of, even finding profanity written on her gym locker, as a teenager (watch her interview on YouTube). “It sticks with you, and it hurts,” she said. As she grew older, the memories both haunted her and propelled her to a positive relationship with her fans, she said.

President Obama has revealed some of his own not-so-pleasant childhood memories as well. “With big ears and the name that I have, I wasn’t immune. I didn’t emerge unscathed,” he said at the White House March 10. These high-profile success stories are focusing public attention on what may too often be considered a normal part of childhood, but which can become cruel.

In the United States, almost 3 million students have reported that they were pushed, shoved, tripped, even spit upon, according to statistics provided by the White House. Bullying, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet (PDF, 170KB), can run the gamut from verbal to physical abuse. Victims of consistent aggression often suffer from depression, insecurity and loss of self-esteem. In some cases, they commit suicide.

In March of 2011, the president and first lady hosted the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention to call upon parents, teachers, coaches, faith leaders and elected officials to work to eradicate bullying.

Comedian Bill Cosby has spoken out against bullying (see the CNN video on YouTube), and recently sports teams have joined in delivering an anti-bullying message, especially to support gay adolescents who might suffer from taunting. “We speak for the entire Giants organization when we say that there is no place in society for hatred and bullying against anyone,” said a San Francisco Giants ballplayer in a video released in June.

(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. )

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What do Lady Gaga, the San Francisco Giants and President Obama have in common?

They are all taking a stand against bullying.

The president and the pop singer–songwriter both have talked about being bullied themselves as children, and they are joined by a number of high-profile Americans, from comedian Bill Cosby to major league baseball players, in speaking out against abusive behavior.

In an interview with Fuse, a television network devoted to music, Lady Gaga describes getting bullied and made fun of, even finding profanity written on her gym locker, as a teenager (watch her interview on YouTube). “It sticks with you, and it hurts,” she said. As she grew older, the memories both haunted her and propelled her to a positive relationship with her fans, she said.

President Obama has revealed some of his own not-so-pleasant childhood memories as well. “With big ears and the name that I have, I wasn’t immune. I didn’t emerge unscathed,” he said at the White House March 10. These high-profile success stories are focusing public attention on what may too often be considered a normal part of childhood, but which can become cruel.

In the United States, almost 3 million students have reported that they were pushed, shoved, tripped, even spit upon, according to statistics provided by the White House. Bullying, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet (PDF, 170KB), can run the gamut from verbal to physical abuse. Victims of consistent aggression often suffer from depression, insecurity and loss of self-esteem. In some cases, they commit suicide.

In March of 2011, the president and first lady hosted the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention to call upon parents, teachers, coaches, faith leaders and elected officials to work to eradicate bullying.

Comedian Bill Cosby has spoken out against bullying (see the CNN video on YouTube), and recently sports teams have joined in delivering an anti-bullying message, especially to support gay adolescents who might suffer from taunting. “We speak for the entire Giants organization when we say that there is no place in society for hatred and bullying against anyone,” said a San Francisco Giants ballplayer in a video released in June.

(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. )

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