Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Herriman High School students attend a kick-off event for the newly formed Utah Anti-bullying Coalition, made up of educators and business people in Herriman Friday, March 21, 2014.

A group of prominent Utahns has come together to launch a public-private partnership of educators and business leaders against bullying in schools. Launched Friday at Herriman High School with help from the Utah Jazz Bear, the Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition has the goal that all Utah schools should be places in which children feel safe and welcome.

Spurred by incidents in Utah and elsewhere, the aim is to invite students and adults to take a pledge against bullying. “An estimated one in five Utah school children is negatively impacted by bullying,” said Gail Miller, chair of the Larry H. Miller Group. “Students cannot reach their potential if they feel unwelcome, alone and unsafe at school. It is a sad fact that bullying also can lead to depression, anti-social behavior and even suicide.”

Others who have joined in the coalition include Mac Christensen, of Mr. Mac; Jan England, of CR England; Martell Menlove of the Utah State Office of Education; Tibby Milne of the Utah Parent Teacher Association and others. They have joined together “to try to make a positive difference in what we see as a serious social problem,” said Executive Director Don Olsen.

The group isn’t the only one approaching the issue. In a recent “Mormon Message,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns this newspaper, highlighted the dangers of bullying, particularly in a digital age.

We urge Utahns of all ages to participate in and take the pledge of the Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition.