Safe Schools Improvement Act

SAFE SCHOOLS IMPROVEMENT ACT (H.R. 1648/S. 506)

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Illinois Sponsors

  • U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)
  • U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)
  • U.S. Representative Jerry Costello (D-IL)
  • U.S. Representative Luis GutiĆ©rrez (D-IL)
  • U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)
  • U.S. Representative Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)
  • U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL)
  • U.S. Representative Janice Schakowsky (D-IL)

Description

H.R. 1648/S. 506 would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to require schools and school districts that receive federal funding to adopt codes of conduct that specifically addresses bullying and harassment, with specific measures to prevent bullying based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. It also has provisions that will require states to track incidents of bullying and harassment, allowing a greater understanding of the issue. S. 506 was introduced March 8, 2011 by U.S. Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) and was referred to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. H.R. 1648, the House bill of the same name, was reintroduced by Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) on April 15, 2011 and was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Goals and Purposes of H.R. 1648/S. 506

The goal of these bills is to establish guidelines for comprehensive policies to be developed in order to reduce the amount of bullying and harassment in our schools while simultaneously collecting data about such conduct and beginning an ongoing examination of programming that effectively combats bullying and harassment by:

Requiring Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to:

  • Include clear prohibitions against bullying and harassment within their discipline policies and establish grievance procedures that can be used to address such conduct
  • Establish and monitor performance indicators for incidents of bullying and harassment

Directing LEAs to annually notify students, parents, and teachers:

  • The bullying and harassment conduct that is prohibited by their discipline policies as well as the grievance procedures that can be used to address such conduct
  • The numbers and nature of bullying and harassment incidents for each of their schools

Requiring:

  • The Secretary of Education to conduct, and report on, an independent biennial evaluation of programs to combat bullying and harassment in elementary and secondary schools
  • The Commissioner for Education Statistics to collect data, that are subject to independent review, to determine the incidence and prevalence of bullying and harassment in elementary and secondary schools in the U.S.
  • Having provisions that specifically address bullying and harassment based on association with as well as actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion

How H.R. 1648/S. 506 Benefits Youth?

  • Creates a safe space for all students to receive an education
  • Provides clear guidelines about bullying and harrassment policies as well as reprecussions for such conduct to students, parents, and teachers
  • Includes ongoing processes to monitor levels of bullying and harrassment in schools as well as continual explorations of effective programming that combats such conduct, which will continually work to provide safe spaces within school

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