San Mateo County Office of Education launched its RESPECT! 24/7 anti-bullying and civility initiative after a San Mateo County Grand Jury report called on our school districts to update their anti-bullying policies to be more comprehensive and consistent. After engaging our districts in that work, we became acutely aware that ensuring the physical, mental and emotional health of every child is best achieved through the collective efforts of the entire community. In this spirit, the RESPECT! 24/7 initiative was launched as a countywide effort.
To date, our partners include Congresswoman Jackie Speier, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, Common Sense Media, the San Mateo County Library, the 17th District PTA, Community Gatepath, StarVista and the San Mateo County Youth Commission, among others. Under the RESPECT! 24/7 umbrella, San Mateo County convenes professional development trainings for teachers and administrators and events for youth and community members. For the past two years, San Mateo County has observed October as RESPECT! 24/7 month. Our celebrations included sending more than 4,000 students to local movie theaters so they could view the documentary film Bully.
RESPECT! 24/7 has grown in its focus to address such issues as cyberbullying, digital citizenship, disproportionate rates of suspension and expulsion, LGBTQ and gender identity, positive school climate, safe schools and communities, and youth mental health. We’re currently working to launch a RESPECT! 24/7 recognition program for PreK-6th grade students with a RESPECT! 24/7 Superheroes of the Month campaign.
RESPECT! 24/7 is also proud of our student-created logo, with its cape-clad superhero “R” poised to spring into action.