Rally for “Bully Free DC” This Thursday
April 19, 2011 by Sarah Warbelow, Legal Director
Students across DC suffer every day from bullying and harassment, which can lead to increased violence in schools, suicide attempts, mental health issues, and disciplinary measures that disrupt classrooms. To fight bullying in DC Public Schools, HRC has joined DC’s Safe Schools Coalition.
This Thursday, April 21 at noon, District of Columbia youth, teachers, families, and activists will gather with lawmakers at the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, to celebrate the introduction and urge movement of the Bullying and Prevention Act of 2011 (B19-11). The Bullying and Intimidation Prevention Act is a critical anti-bullying measure which will protect students by requiring DC Public Schools and other District agencies that work with youth to pass comprehensive anti-bullying policies.
A supportive academic environment is essential for student learning. This bill will increase academic achievement in District schools by providing educators the tools they need to create a welcoming environment for all DC students. Comprehensive anti-bullying policies have been proven to be effective in stopping bullying and making sure all students are safe at school so they can focus on learning.
Addressing bullying and harassment in our schools must be a priority—achieving real change in our schools will require strong policies and meaningful implementation by the entire community. Our students deserve safe schools.
We thank Councilmember Thomas and the other sponsors for reintroducing this critical bill. We hope that the Council will pass it before the end of the school year so that students can begin next year with comprehensive protections against bullying and harassment.
Supporters of the bill will meet this Thursday at noon on the steps of the Wilson Building to share personal stories about how bullying has affected their lives and communities and rally around safe schools. Join us.
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