It's rare to see the names [artist id="501686"]Britney Spears[/artist] and President Obama in the same sentence, but the "Hold It Against Me" pop star and the leader of the free world are joining forces to combat bullying as part of a new campaign launched by the White House.
"Anti-bullying is an issue very close to my heart," Spears tweeted on Wednesday. "I am honored that President Obama & the First Lady asked me to join this campaign."
In a separate tweet, Spears posted the hashtag #StopBullyingNow.
The president and first lady Michelle Obama launched the campaign this week with a Facebook video extending an invitation to join them for a special anti-bullying summit in Washington on Thursday (March 10).
"We'll be talking with students, teachers and parents about how to stop bullying," explained Mrs. Obama. "And about the responsibility each of us has to make sure our children treat each other with respect."
The Conference on Bullying Prevention will feature testimonials from communities that have been affected by bullying and those who've taken some action to prevent it, with participation from members of the departments of Education and Health and Human Services, as well as students and parents.
"This isn't an issue that makes headlines every day, but it affects every single young person in our country," the president added.
As leaders and as parents of young children, Mrs. Obama said bullying is something they care about deeply. "It's tough enough being a kid today," she said. "Our children deserve the chance to learned and grow without constantly being picked on, made fun of or worse."
The president said it's time to stop thinking of bullying as an unavoidable part of childhood and to realize the danger of harassment following children from their schools to their phones and computer screens. He praised the efforts of young people to make our schools and communities safe places for kids who feel different and for realizing that while technology has brought us closer, it also affects how we treat each other.
The Obamas encouraged everyone to participate in the effort by logging on to StopBullying.gov, which has a number of resources for preventing bullying.
Spears is the latest star to sign on to a growing anti-bullying crusade across the country, joining Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, Adam Lambert and Aubrey O'Day, as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, who recorded videos for the "It Gets Better" project.