Thursday, February 10, 2011

US Education Department Push For Bullying Initiatives

The Obama administration and the Education Department have set their focus on promoting initiatives aimed at combating bullying in schools. The administration’s efforts were ignited by a 10-page “Dear Colleague” letter from the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights advising school officials they are required under federal law to stop discriminatory behavior.

In the letter, Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights, wrote, “Some student misconduct that falls under a school’s anti-bullying policy also may trigger responsibilities under one or more of the federal anti-discrimination laws enforced by the Department’s Office for Civil Rights.

“Student misconduct could trigger action under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which targets discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which bans discrimination based on sex,” Ali said.

The Education Department is collecting “best practices” for anti-bullying efforts and the White House is planning to host a conference this year to raise awareness of the issue.

Written for KidsTerrain, Inc. Reprinted here with permission.

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