Every child deserves a high-quality education and a safe school environment.
High-profile student suicides and a rise in cyber-bullying have made it apparent that bullying is a reality for too many students.
While almost all states have some anti-bullying laws on the books, the laws vary greatly in form and strength and more needs to be done to ensure each state's policies are effective enough to ensure a safe learning environment for every child.
Comprehensive anti-bullying legislation should include the following key elements:
-A clear definition of bullying and harassment of students;
-Clear roles and responsibilities for schools, administrators, and teachers, as well as a requirement that all schools adopt anti-bullying policies;
-Training for teachers, administrators, and students;
-Investigation protocols for all reported incidents;
-School-level staff teams dedicated to and focused on monitoring bullying incidents and school climate.
School should be a safe environment -- both to protect our children and to ensure we're fulfilling the promise of an excellent education for every student.