“Bullying on basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion has been growing at a rapid pace in the age of texting and online social networks,” said Senator Kirk. “Our children need to feel protected and safe so they can learn and I hope the Casey/Kirk bill will encourage schools and districts to develop effective prevention and response protocols.”
The Safe Schools Improvement Act would require schools and districts receiving designated federal funds to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, including conduct based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion. The Act would ensure that schools and school districts implement effective prevention programs in order to better prevent and respond to incidences of bullying and harassment and would require that states report data on incidences of bullying and harassment to the Department of Education.
A recent poll commissioned by the USA Network found that 85 percent of Americans would support a new federal law to require schools to enforce specific rules to prevent bullying.