NEW YORK - April 11, 2012 - The following is a statement from GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard about today's announcement of the "Anti-Bullying Action Plan" by District of Columbia Mayor Vincent C. Gray that aims to address the issue of bullying and harassment in public schools city-wide.
"GLSEN applauds Mayor Vincent C. Gray for his leadership on putting forth an exceptional plan that focuses on the reduction and prevention of bullying in the District's public school system. Mayor Gray's new 'Anti-Bullying Action Plan' is a comprehensive effort that calls for evidence-based interventions to address the specific needs facing the District's schools.
"GLSEN's Office of Public Policy has been working closely alongside key government agencies including the D.C. Public Schools and the D.C. Office of Human Rights to assist city-wide efforts of addressing the issue of bullying in District schools. We look forward to expanding this role through our participation on the Stakeholder Task Force that will investigate and provide solutions for the needs of students in school.
"Today's announcement is a significant development for creating safer schools, but the District of Columbia remains one of the few jurisdictions without anti-bullying legislation. We urge the D.C. Council to send a clear message that all students deserve a learning environment free from all kinds of bullying by moving forward with comprehensive safe schools legislation, such as the Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2012."
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.