Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent bullying and harassment in schools. The Safe Schools Improvement Act would require schools and districts that receive federal funding to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, encouraging them to implement effective prevention programs to respond to incidents of bullying and harassment.
“Bullying and harassment affect millions of students every year,” said Senator Casey. “I am re-introducing the Safe Schools Improvement Act to help ensure that every child receives a quality education that builds self-confidence. This bill is a crucial step towards ensuring that no child is afraid to go to school for fear of bullying.”
"Bullying affects an estimated one out of every three students in America ages 12-18 years, and can have a significant impact on school engagement and academic achievement," said Senator Kirk. "I am proud to join with Senator Casey to reintroduce the Safe Schools Improvement Act to help schools prevent bullying before it starts and to provide guidance supporting proper behavior. I hope we can help solve the issue of bullying because every child deserves a safe environment, free of harassment, in which they can learn."
The Safe Schools Improvement Act requires school districts receiving federal funds adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, including conduct based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion. The bill also requires states to collect information reported by school districts on incidents of bullying and harassment and report this information to the Department of Education. This data must also be readily available to the public so that parents and the local community may know what is happening in their schools.