There have been 20 teen dating abuse murders in California in just the last 3 years.
According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately one in four adolescents report verbal, emotional, physical or sexual dating violence each year. A substantial number of dating abuse incidents occur on campus, threatening the safety of students and staff, distracting students from learning, and compromising the school climate. Yet, dating abuse is one of the most overlooked forms of violence.
While California has taken steps to strengthen school responses to peer-to-peer bullying and violence, the Education Code has a serious gap when it comes to dating abuse: it does not define dating abuse, require schools to prohibit it, or ensure that schools have dating abuse policies in place.
AB 1880 is necessary because it will remedy gaps in existing law. It will ensure that schools are informed about dating abuse and have policies in place to prevent, recognize, intervene, and respond. Specifically, this bill would:
1. Require middle schools and high schools to establish a dating abuse policy as they review and update their mandated school safety plans;
2. Require schools to specify procedures for responding to incidents of dating abuse, including protocol for working with the targeted student and the alleged offender;
3. Require schools to provide annual written notice to parents and guardians of the dating abuse policy and how to make a complaint or help their child make a complaint of dating abuse; and,
4. Include dating abuse in training offered by the State Department of Education to school districts and county offices of education, to assist them in the development of their safety plans.
More information: www.safeatschools.org.