The prevalence of bullying and harassment in elementary, middle, and high schools is a growing issue of national concern and we need your help to put a stop to it. According to recent studies, bullying affects almost 30% of American children on a monthly basis and results in serious academic, physical and mental health problems including, in some cases, suicide. While some schools, districts and states have already enacted anti-bullying and harassment policies, most do not. Additionally, in many cases school policies on bullying are not spelled out resulting in existing policies going unenforced, school officials unsure of what they can do, and children continuing to get bullied.
Bipartisan legislation should amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to require schools and districts that receive federal funding to adopt policies that explicitly prohibit and define bullying and harassment and that enumerate some of the categories for protection, including religion, race, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity. States would collect and report data on bullying and harassment to the Department of Education as well as create ways to address these problems. Additionally, the Department of Education would be required to, in turn, provide Congress with a report on this data every two years.