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Bullying Prevention Policy

PeaceBuilders supports state lawmaker policies to bring bullying out from the shadows. Dedicated to ensuring every child has a safe learning environment, PeaceBuilders working hand-in-hand with California legislators on four landmark bills. The proposed legislation works to establish proactive school policies that decrease violent, aggressive behavior, and increase positive, peaceful behavior.

AB 9 (Ammiano) - Bullying Prevention

APPROVED AB 9 is an important piece of legislation that puts school safety first by creating strong and clear anti-harassment policies and programs.

Research has shown that student misconduct can be reduced when everyone knows what constitutes misconduct, who to report it to and how to address it. AB 9 does that by providing California schools specific tools to prevent bullying and create a safe school environment with all students.

This legislation prioritizes school safety and implements necessary protections for students against bullying and harassment based on: sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability and religion.

Under AB 9:
  • Every school district in the state would create strong anti-harassment policies and programs;
  • Clear compliant procedures would be required to ensure all reports of harassment and bullying are taken seriously and addressed promptly;
  • Schools would communicate to the students, staff and parents about the harmful effects of bullying and harassment on the individual victims of bullying, as well as on the entire school community.

AB 256 (Garcia) – Pupils: Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion

AB 256l will authorize a pupil enrolled in any of grades 4 to 12 to be suspended or expelled if the superintendent or principal of the pupil’s school determines that the pupil has intentionally engaged in bullying by means of an electronic act directed against school district personnel or pupils, that is equally as severe or pervasive, whether or not the act relates to a school activity or school attendance.

AB 549 (Jones-Sawyer) – Comprehensive School Safety Plans: Adult Role on Campus Guidelines

AB 549 will require strategies and programs to include the development of clear guidelines for the roles and responsibilities of adults on the school campus. The bill would require a school and school district that elects to apply for and receive state or federal funding for the purposes of increasing campus safety to comply with certain requirements, including submitting a plan to the State Department of Education on the proposed use of the funds.

AB 746 (Campos) – Pupils: Cyberbullying

APPROVED AB 746 will ensure children are protected from cyber-bullying.

Bullying used to be confined to the school yards. The advances in technology have increased children's ability to bully and so the problem has been magnified.

Our social media culture reaches our youth and we must ensure the laws to protect them do as well.

Suicide now ranks third, behind only accidental death and homicide, as the cause of death for those 16-19 years old. Recently a number of teen and youth suicides have been linked to cyber-bullying activities through social media networks.

Under AB 746:
  • The definition of an "electronic act" would be expanded to include a post on a social network site.
  • A post on a social network site would be covered under the Education Code as a bullying act.

AB 1156 (Eng) - Pupils: Bullying

APPROVED AB 1156 expands the definition of bullying, linking it to academic performance as well as requires schools personnel take bullying prevention trainings.

In 2008, nearly 30 percent of boys and girls in seventh grade reported they had been afraid of being beaten up at school at least once. In a recent special issue of the Journal of Early Adolescence, UCLA psychologists found that academic performance was substantially worse for students who were bullied compared to their peers.

Under AB 1156:
  • Teachers, administrators and other school site personnel will engage in bullying prevention training;
  • Students will able to switch schools or school districts if they are bullying victims;
  • The definition of bullying will be changed by specifying that it includes causing a detrimental effect on the student's physical or mental health, with academic performance or with the ability to participate in school activities.

AB 1216 (Campos) – Pupil Discipline: Bullying

AB 1216 will provide that a pupil who engages in one or more acts of bullying is, at the option of his or her parent or legal guardian, subject either to suspension or expulsion or the alternatives specified in existing law or to attendance at a class designed to prevent and eradicate bullying, conducted by the school district in which the pupil is enrolled.

AB 1264 (Conway) – Comprehensive School Safety Plans: Tactical Response Plans

AB 1264 will require a comprehensive school safety plan to include a tactical response plan and protocol for teachers to provide notification of pupils identified as having a potential mental health issue that is likely to result in violence or harm to the pupil or others. The bill would revise the definition of “tactical responses to criminal incidents” to include a plan to safeguard against incidents that include a firearm, explosive, or other deadly weapon. The bill would require a school district or county office of education to publicly announce its adoption or update of a tactical response plan, but would not require the school to disclose those portions of the plan that may be kept private pursuant to existing law.

SB 49 (Lieu) – School Safety Plans

SB 49 will require specified administrators of school districts and county offices of education to provide written notification to the Superintendent of Public Instruction identifying each school within the school district or county that has not complied with the requirement to adopt, and periodically review and update, a comprehensive school safety plan. The bill would require the Superintendent to publish, on the Internet Web site of the State Department of Education, the name of each school reported as not complying with the requirements to adopt, and periodically review and update, a comprehensive school safety plan. By requiring school and local educational agency officers to perform additional duties, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

SB 231 (Correa) – Bullying and Peer Abuse Prevention Hotline

SB 231 will state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish a bullying and peer abuse prevention hotline. The hotline would be administered by the State Department of Education and would require the State Department of Education, in consultation with the Student Mental Health Initiative of the State Department of Health Care Services and other entities deemed appropriate, to contract with an entity that has experience in hotline telephone services, behavioral health services, crisis prevention and intervention services, suicide prevention and intervention services, and with providing services in a linguistically and culturally competent manner. The bill would require the State Department of Education to recommend to school districts appropriate guidelines, best practices, and information that school districts may disseminate to pupils and their families about the existence, goals, and objectives of the California Bullying Prevention Hotline.

SB 919 (Lieu) – School Safety: Sexting

SB 919 will ensure children are protected from being bullied by "sexting" or lewd electronic photos electronically.

Bullying used to be confined to the school yards. The advances in technology have increased children's ability to bully and so the problem has been magnified. Today's youth casually send sexually explicit photographs of themselves to their boyfriends or girlfriends - without considering that it can be harmful and hurtful.

Under SB 919:
  • "Sexting" will be a topic that will be included in school safety programs;
  • School districts, county offices of education, law enforcement agencies and agencies serving youth are encouraged to work together to implement programs that will: improve school attendance, reduce school crime including vandalism, drug and alcohol abuse, gangs, hate crimes and bullying – including "sexting."

Check out these resources at the California Department of Education website.

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