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WHEREAS, bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance; and
WHEREAS, individuals of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds have the right to live without the fear of verbal, physical, and social bullying; and
WHEREAS, instances of bullying have increased in schools, places of employment, neighborhoods and on social media; and
WHEREAS, the effects of bullying not only harm the bullied through depression, anxiety, and potential for self-harm, but also the bully, potentially through alcohol abuse, criminal convictions, and abuse of intimate partners and family; and
WHEREAS, strengthening support for those that have been affected by bullying, as well as those who have been the initiators of bullying, can reduce the damaging effects; and
WHEREAS, all Virginians must work together to increase awareness about bullying and how to prevent it; and
WHEREAS, “Parents Against Bullying VA” and the Commonwealth of Virginia are committed to protecting citizens by bringing awareness to the dangers of bullying, supporting those affected, and working together to become the country’s first “Bully Free State”;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize August 25, 2018, as BULLY FREE VIRGINIA DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.