New law bolsters schools' anti-bullying tactics
OLYMPIA - A policy and procedure template for districts to combat bullying, harassment and intimidation was presented to the state Legislature Dec. 1, by superintendent of public instruction Randy Dorn.
The model policy is in accordance with SHB2801, passed during the 2010 state legislative session, which says school districts must adopt an anti-bullying policy and procedure, and designate a compliance officer. The compliance officer will receive formal and informal complaints, oversee implementation of the district’s policy and procedure, and coordinate with the Office of the Education Ombudsman and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
Each school districts has until Aug. 1, 2011, to adopt a formal policy and procedure.
“We know that bullying is a big issue,” said Dorn to the state Legislature. “I take the safety of our students very seriously. We know that bullying is affecting some students’ education, and that’s not acceptable. Creating a model policy and concrete procedures for dealing with these issues will give kids a safer environment to learn.”
More anti-bullying resources and information can be found at OSPI's school safety center site, and through the Office of the Education Ombudsman.