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Bullying Recommendation and Report FINAL12-8Revision

Bullying Recommendation and Report FINAL12-8Revision

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Published by: salsafresa2010 on Dec 14, 2010
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02/10/2013

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AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATIONCOMMISSION ON YOUTH AT RISK COALITION ON RACIAL AND ETHNIC JUSTICECOMMISSION ON WOMEN IN THE PROFESSIONREPORT TO THE HOUSE OF DELEGATESRESOLUTION
RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges federal, state, territorial, and localofficials, to prevent and remediate the existence and dangers of bullying, including cyberbullyingand youth-to-youth sexual and physical harassment, by(1) developing education programs to assist teachers, parents, and children in identifyingvictims of these acts and enhancing appropriate interventions,(2) adopting, revising, and monitoring laws and policies designed to prevent these actsand foster interventions successfully implemented to reduce and respond to them,(3) providing training,(4) reporting of collected data,(5) providing notice to families and guardians of incidents of bullying,(6) affording institutional protections particularly for those children at risk of these actsresulting from actual or perceived characteristics such as race, religion, national origin, sex,disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.FURTHER RESOLVED, That the ABA urges federal, state, territorial and local, officials andschool administrators to adopt policies that discourage (1) inappropriate referral of youth to the juvenile justice system for acts of bullying and student-on-student harassment, and (2)inappropriate use of expulsion and out-of-school suspension for such acts..FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges government, private, andacademic institutions to fund programs, research and evaluation that addresses prevention of andresponses to these acts, including efforts to study and enhance evidence-based, and culturally andlinguistically competent approaches.FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges all
 
law enforcement agenciesto cooperate with the FBI’s data collection program related to hate crimes committed by andagainst juveniles under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Actof 2009.FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges Internet Service Providersand social networking platforms to adopt Terms of Service that define and prohibit cyberbullyingand cyberhate, provide a readily identifiable and monitored address for reporting improper activity, and review complaints in a timely manner.FURTHER RESOLVED, That The American Bar Association urges school districts to follow123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839404142434445
 
the October 2010 U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights “Dear Colleague” letter on bullying and harassment, and the Department to monitor compliance with the letter’sguidelines and more aggressively utilize federal and state civil rights protection authority under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, andSection 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
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REPORT
On October 21, 2010, President Barack Obama stated to the nation: “We’ve got to dispel thismyth that bullying is just a normal rite of passage, that it's some inevitable part of growing up.It's not. We have an obligation to ensure that our schools are safe for all of our kids.”
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 In thewake of recent media attention surrounding several suicides by young people who identified aslesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) and who were bullied, taunted, and teased, it istime for the American Bar Association to emphatically call for improved law and policy to better  protect our children from this harm.In August 2002 the House of Delegates approved a recommendation on this topic, calling for anti-bullying/harassment programs for children, parents, teachers, and school administrators. Iturged appropriate court diversion programs so that bullies did not get unnecessarily stigmatized;called for more diligent efforts to prevent and respond to youth on youth violence in residentialcare facilities; as well as for improved data collection on hate crimes committed by and against juveniles and acts of harassment and bullying committed by and against children. Finally, this policy urged the organized bar and lawyers generally to help facilitate education and programson these issues. This new proposed Recommendation builds on that 2002 policy due to thegrowing awareness of new forms of bullying and their devasting impact on children, and theneed to further improve our responses to this problem. Another Association policy, from 2007,called for protection of LGBT foster and homeless youth from discrimination and violence.In October 2010, the United States Department of Education distributed guidelines to clarifywhen student bullying violates federal law. The guidelines, delivered as a “Dear Colleague”letter, emphasize the prohibition of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, or disability.
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 This Report to the ABA House of Delegates urges implementation of theDepartment’s letter and encourages more extensive school policies in accordance with federallaw.Building upon the American Bar Association’s related 2002 policy recommendations, thatcalled for educational initiatives and law reform regarding hate crimes and anti-bias behavior,this new Recommendation and Report specifically urges that officials develop sound anti- bullying and anti-harassment policies. These policies must be culturally and linguisticallycompetent; must not inappropriately discipline offenders; and must appropriately protect andsupport victims of bullying. Additionally, the new Recommendation stresses the importance of action and collaboration by federal agencies, the private sector (including internet service providers), and non-profit organizations to combat bullying in the schools and suggests why newor amended federal laws may be necessary.
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President Barack Obama, Address Regarding Anti-Bullying (October 21, 2010)
available at 
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Letter from Russlyn Ali, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education to Schools,Colleges and Universities Nationwide (October 26, 2010)
available at 
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201010.pdf.
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