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What is SEATBELT?

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For the majority of U.S. drivers, fastening a seat belt when they get into a car is an automatic behavior. Although seat belts don’t protect drivers or passengers from all injuries or harm, buckling a seat belt has been shown to significantly reduce this risk.

Just as we buckle our seat belts to keep ourselves and others safe, we can take measures to prevent bullying and keep all young people safe.

When children and teenagers feel safe and supported in their homes, schools, and communities, they are significantly less likely to experience bullying.

Too often, we think about bullying only after it has happened. Parents may not talk to their children about bullying until they are already involved. Schools often will institute an “anti-bullying” policy, but may not take the critical steps needed to make that policy work. Just like a seat belt, a policy cannot work if it just hangs there – it needs to be engaged.

The mission of RFK Project SEATBELT is to create the conditions at home, at school, and in the community so that treating EVERYONE with respect becomes the norm – in other words, universal respect becomes as automatic as fastening a seat belt.

 

“My children don’t think twice when they get into a car before buckling a seat belt. I still need the reminder of the beep in the dashboard. Bullying needs a long term philosophy, a change that enables every person to recognize bullying immediately in all of its forms and from all of its sources. A cohesive and comprehensive change in our individual and collective thinking. Sow seeds that will take root and begin a season of harvest that will reflect the compassion and humanity of who we are as Americans.

As President Kennedy dedicated this country in the 1960s to landing a man on the moon within that decade, we too need to rededicate this time and our resources to accomplish this lofty goal of the 21st century. Let’s make anti-bullying the seat belt philosophy of the next generation.”

—Kevin Jacobsen, parent