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160,000 kids, Every Day

Why this is important?

160,000 of our kids stay home from school every day in fear of bullying. We can’t afford to lie dormant on the issue of cyberbullying any longer.

As you begin to update and rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) -- more commonly known as No Child Left Behind -- it is crucial to keep in mind, and advocate for, the millions of children and young adults whose lives are damaged every day by vicious acts of bullying and cyberbullying.

Now is the time to take action. I am writing to urge you to support two important bullying prevention initiatives that are currently pending before Congress: The Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R. 1199) and the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act (H.R. 482). These bills would expand federal bullying prevention initiatives as well as mandating important reporting and accountability measures for schools.

Together, these initiatives would:
Help schools to develop and implement bullying prevention policies and programs (HR 1199)
Require states to gather and report information on bullying and harassment (HR 1199)
Require colleges and universities to create inclusion programs to address cyberbullying (HR 482)
Fund anti-harassment programs (HR 482)

Bullying is a devastating issue that affects communities, students, and parents across the nation. Sadly, with the rapid growth of online communication networks, has also come an alarmingly high rate of abuse and misuse of the internet, cell phones, and other technology with the goal of harassing others. Bullying has been proven to lead to a series of long-term detrimental outcomes which can include poor academics, low self-esteem, and serious depression.

The Federal government, in partnership with state and local public agencies, non-profit, community organizations, and colleges and universities, has the power to play a critical role in ensuring that our schools and communities are safe places for all students.

As you rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act (ESEA), I plead for you to keep in mind the millions of lives who are affected every day by the devastating effects of bullying. And urge you to support the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act (H.R. 482) and the Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R. 1199).