It has been reported that an estimated 160,000 kids miss school everyday in fear of being verbally or physically bullied. Additionally, about 25 percent of children in our school systems admit to having been bullied at one time or another, while about 20 percent of children admit to participating in acts of bullying. The Austin Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is an organization fighting against these alarming statistics in an effort to eliminate bullying and all forms of bigotry throughout Central Texas to secure fair treatment for all individuals. ADL is celebrating its 100th birthday nationally and its 10-year anniversary here in Austin. To celebrate, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Oak Ranch Community, the Austin Independent School District (AISD), RunTex, and Vess Consulting are creating the first annual anti-bullying run in Del Valle, TX.
The run will take place Saturday, March 30th at 9 a.m. to create awareness and raise funds for ADL and its programs. Registration will be held at Oak Ranch, an affordable housing community that supports the Anti-Defamation League and is one of the biggest financial forces behind the event. One of the programs that the Anti-Defamation League created and supports is the “No Place for Hate” initiative, which provides educators and students with the resources to ensure that anti-bias and diversity education are an integral part of the school curriculum. “No Place for Hate” also helps to create and sustain inclusive school environments where all students feel valued and have the opportunity to succeed by promoting respect for individual difference while challenging bigotry and prejudice. More than 250 Central Texas schools have earned the designation.
We envision this 5k as an opportunity to connect various groups of people around Austin. As the statistics highlight, bullying has unfortunately become so prevalent in today’s society, not only with an increasing presence within the walls of our schools, but also on the Internet. Depending on the age group, up to 40% of students have reported being bullied while online, with 25% of students reporting being bullied online more than once. Almost 60% of these students will not report these acts of bullying to an adult. We want to come together to make a statement that bullying and discrimination will not be tolerated. Bullying, gossip, and other forms of hate are often simply seen as part of the growing up process. But we believe that there really is no place for hate, and we are hoping this run will reiterate that.