For Immediate Release
Contact: Rob Grant, Communications Director
202.966.7300, Ext. 119
Anna Eisenberg, Communications Coordinator
202.966.7300, Ext. 154
Washington, D.C., June 24, 2010 - The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry testified before the United States House of Representatives' Education and Labor Subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities at a hearing entitled "Ensuring Student Cyber Safety."
Dr. Jorge Srabstein, a Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, presented comments before the Committee in support of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). He is the Medical Director of the Clinic for Health Problems Related to Bullying at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
"Bullying can and does exist in cyber space, and is as detrimental to children and adolescents as when it happens in the school yard," said Srabstein. "There is still much to be done to address this all too common practice. Schools, teachers, parents, and children need to be aware of the early signs and help stop cyber-bullying."
Bullying is a common experience for many children and adolescents. Surveys indicate that as many as half of all children are bullied at some time during their school years, and at least 10% are bullied on a regular basis. This behavior can be physical or verbal, but recently, bullying is increasingly reported in online chat rooms, through e-mails, from cell phones, and on social networking websites.
Children who are bullied experience real suffering that can interfere with their social and emotional development, as well as their school performance. Some victims of bullying have even attempted suicide rather than continue to endure such harassment and punishment.
The hearing was chaired by US Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY). Other witnesses included Dr. Phil McGraw, Syndicated Daytime Television Talk Show Host and Best-Selling Author; Parry Aftab, Executive Director, WiredSafety, Wyckoff, N.J.; Dominique Napolitano, teen member of Girl Scouts of the USA's Let Me Know (LMK) program, West Islip, N.Y.; and Barbara-Jane Paris, Principal, Canyon Vista Middle School Austin, Texas.
The full testimonies of the witnesses can be found at http://edlabor.house.gov/hearings/healthy-families/.
Representing over 8,000 child and adolescent psychiatrists nationwide, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children's mental health.
AACAP Members actively research, diagnose and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents and their families. For more information please visit www.aacap.org.