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ERIC Number: ED512473
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-26
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Dear Colleague Letter: Harassment and Bullying
Ali, Russlynn
US Department of Education
In recent years, many state departments of education and local school districts have taken steps to reduce bullying in schools. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) fully supports these efforts. Bullying fosters a climate of fear and disrespect that can seriously impair the physical and psychological health of its victims and create conditions that negatively affect learning, thereby undermining the ability of students to achieve their full potential. The movement to adopt anti-bullying policies reflects schools' appreciation of their important responsibility to maintain a safe learning environment for all students. In this letter, the author reminds schools, however, that some student misconduct that falls under a school's anti-bullying policy also may trigger responsibilities under one or more of the federal antidiscrimination laws enforced by the Department's Office for Civil Rights (OCR). As discussed in more detail in this letter, by limiting its response to a specific application of its anti-bullying disciplinary policy, a school may fail to properly consider whether the student misconduct also results in discriminatory harassment. The author provides hypothetical examples of how a school's failure to recognize student misconduct as discriminatory harassment violates students' civil rights. In each of the examples, the school was on notice of the harassment because either the school or a responsible employee knew or should have known of misconduct that constituted harassment. The examples describe how the school should have responded in each circumstance. (Contains 19 footnotes.) [For the accompanying summary report, see ED512472.]
US Department of Education. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Fax: 301-470-1244; Web site: http://www.edpubs.gov
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Office for Civil Rights (ED)
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Americans with Disabilities Act 1990; Civil Rights Act 1964; Education Amendments 1972; Rehabilitation Act 1973 (Section 504); Title IX Education Amendments 1972