Pop star Lady Gaga has made a mission out of preventing bullying among American youth and on Tuesday she sent a special surrogate to Washington to talk about the issue -- her mom, Cynthia Germanotta. Dubbed "Mother Gaga" for the afternoon, Germanotta, a co-founder of the Born This Way Foundation, appeared alongside White House advisor Valerie Jarrett at the Bullying Prevention Summit sponsored by the Department of Education.
Both brought up personal stories about bullying.
"My daughter has spoken very openly and very publicly a lot of her own personal struggles," Germanotta said. "She was bullied quite a lot as a young adult, starting very, very young, and everything from her locker being defamed at school, she was actually put in a trash can at one point, which was extremely difficult for all of us to go through."
Jarrett shared a more recent encounter with bullies, this kind the cyber variety. "I just joined Twitter a couple of months ago, and so you get all kinds of interesting feedback over Twitter -- some of it nice, some not so nice," she told the audience. "And I'll tell you, I think -- and I read the comments -- I think one of the observations I would make is people say things to you, to each other online, that they would never dream of saying if they were looking you directly in the face."
Germanotta revealed that her daughter reads her tweets too and sometimes they make her sad. "She's very much a human being," Mother Gaga said.
"When we are born this way, as my daughter says, we all arrive here on a level playing field and I think understanding that and ... feeling that you care about what happens to another individual and not just yourself, that to me, is the biggest thing we can all do," Germanotta concluded.