President Obama responds to Richmond Co. teacher's letter on bullying

By: Trishna Begam Email
By: Trishna Begam Email

News 12 This Morning / Wednesday, July 4, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- When Jeannette Lewis-Jordan opened the mailbox last week, she received a big surprise.

"I was very very shocked. When I sent it out, I did not expect to receive anything from him," she said.

Jordan's talking about President Barack Obama. Two months ago, she sat down and wrote a personal message to the president about bullying.

"I talked about it because I have a daughter; she was in middle school at the time," Jordan said.

Jordan, who teaches middle school in Richmond County, is also working on her dissertation for her PhD.

"In that letter, I explained to him about bullying, teacher perception and student bullying that goes on in middle school," she said.

It's not always obvious, and Jordan wanted the president's help in fighting back.

"Dear Jeannette, thank you for writing," said Jordan, reading the president's words out loud.

Two months after sending the letter, she got a signed and sealed letter from the White House.

"It makes me feel like my voice is being heard," she said.

In his letter, Obama writes he is launching a coordinated effort to prevent suicides triggered by bullying. The administration even held its first National Bullying Summit back in 2010.

"I was really surprised; I was looking to receive something a year or two out, but he responded just like that. Maybe because bullying is happening nationwide," she said.

Jordan explained to the president in her letter that more teachers need more training to help prevent the problem.

"Some of the students are reporting they are being bullied, but teachers just don't have the resources to combat it," Jordan added. "It's just something teachers think kids do."

As Jordan saves the letter in a safe place, she knows combating bullying will take time, but the words of the president give her encouragement.

Jordan also wrote to Georgia state representatives about the problem, but she has not heard a response back from them yet.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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