Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi Announces Introduction of the STOP Bullying Act
SCHAUMBURG, IL – Today, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi announced the introduction of his anti-bullying bill, the STOP Bullying Act. The STOP Bullying Act incentivizes the establishment of statewide anti-bullying task forces to study, address, and reduce bullying in primary and secondary schools. It specifically addresses bullying of LGBTQ students and is endorsed by GSLEN.
“Every child should feel safe at school – period. Yet, bullying and harassment continues to persist in middle and high schools nationwide,” said Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL). “Hostile school environments have been proven to have a detrimental effect on the academic success and health of each student. To combat this, thirteen states and the District of Columbia have convened taskforces to evaluate, research, and listen to their community on how to make schools safer for all children, regardless of their actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. The STOP Bullying Act builds on this model and incentivizes the creation of an anti-bullying taskforce in each state across the country.”
Specifically, the STOP Bullying Act:
- Establishes a federal grant program through the Department of Education that would award grants to states to establish anti-bullying task forces.
- Each task force shall convene educators and community leaders in order to evaluate and strengthen prevention efforts at elementary and secondary schools.
- The chair of the taskforce will be designated by the Chief Education Officer of the state.
- The task force must be comprised of at least one of the following: teachers at elementary and secondary schools, school administrators, parents, K-12 students, guidance counselors, child psychologists, lawyers, representatives and professionals from organizations who specializes in supportive services to students who identify as LGBTQ+, representatives from the State Education Agency focused on school improvement.
- Each task force should coordinate their activities with other boards and commission within the state to ensure consistency and positive outcomes for students.
- Each task force shall submit a final report to the Chief Education Officer of the state and the Secretary of Education with the findings and conclusions of the task force, legislative recommendations, and best practices to reducing bullying and educating parents and school staff.
This bill will empower and provide the structure states need in order to create effective and long-lasting anti-bullying policies in order to address each of their unique environments surrounding bullying on school grounds. We continue to learn how the existence of commissions or task forces at the state level can provide long-term benefits, allowing flexibility to states to work on the specific needs of their school districts.
The legislation is endorsed by GLSEN, an education organization working to end discrimination, harassment, and bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression and to prompt LGBTQ cultural inclusion and awareness in K-12 schools.
Event Video Link: https://www.facebook.com/CongressmanRaja/videos/671478553382203/