Department of Education Sends Anti-Bullying Guidance to Educators; Will Convene Conference Next Year

The Department of Education today sent guidance in the form of a "Dear Colleague" letter to schools, colleges, and universities explaining their legal obligations to protect students from "student-on-student racial and national origin harassment, sexual and gender-based harassment, and disability harassment" says the agency in a press release.

Duncan The DoE writes: "Today, the Department of Education issued guidance to support educators in combating bullying in schools by clarifying when student bullying may violate federal education anti-discrimination laws. The guidance issued today also makes clear that while current laws enforced by the department do not protect against harassment based on religion or sexual orientation, they do include protection against harassment of members of religious groups based on shared ethnic characteristics as well as gender and sexual harassment of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered individuals…The White House and Department of Education also announced next steps to address bullying and harassment in schools.  Early next year, the White House will host a conference to raise awareness and equip young people, parents, educators, coaches and other community leaders with tools to prevent bullying and harassment.  This conference will build upon efforts led by the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies to spark a dialogue on the ways in which communities can come together to prevent bullying and harassment."

Said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan: "Bullying is a problem that shouldn't exist. No one should ever feel harassed or unsafe in a school simply because they act or think or dress differently than others…To every student who feels threatened or harassed — for whatever reason — please know that you are not alone.  Please know that there are people who love you. And please know that we will protect you."



  1. walter says

    the suicides are happening now not next year
    why is the government take a year to act.
    this problem has to be addressed now and strongly. unfortunately this like everything else this administration does has to be dragged out.

  2. TampaZeke says

    Notice how they say “gender and sexual harassment of gay, lesbian…”?

    That’s because gender and sexual harassment are covered in the harassment policies for EVERYONE but GLBT protections are NOT enumerated. This was a clever, and insulting, way for the government to use grammatical gymnastics to mislead us as to what their policies protect.

    The fact of the matter is MOST GLBT harassment does NOT involve “gender or sexual harassment”. It involves name calling and threats and homophobic slurs; NONE OF WHICH are covered under current policy.

    If they REALLY want to effectively address the problem then they have to FIRST be honest about what the problem is.

  3. mike/ says

    actually, this is a brilliant move, especially including the religious part;

    Title IX is really far reaching and does need clarification from time to time and re-clarification also; having worked for a large city school system for a long time, Title IX has a lot of protections for many people;

  4. says

    The Department of Education is one of those “feel good” federal agencies that simply don’t solve the problem that they were created to fix.

    I can go in depth on this subject (and actually do if you are interested.)

    The students may wish for more funding, but do they stop and ask where that funding comes from?

    We have turned into an entitlement society, caring not that government does not create wealth but only takes it.

    The more money government throws into the Department of Education, the higher prices for Education will rise. this includes student loans and subsides.

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