Anti-bullying Bill Before DC Council

Next Monday, the DC City Council is hosting a public hearing on a bill to address bullying in DC schools. The DC Trans Coalition is joining many of our allies to testify in support of this legislation, which includes specific protections on the basis of gender identity and expression and would create training for educators and students.

Help us make DC a safer place for trans youth. If you are able, please join us at the Wilson Building to show your support. (If you can’t come in person, you can also submit written testimony!) For more information on the hearing and how you can submit your own testimony, see below the cut. Click here for more information on the Bill from GLSEN, or you can read DCTC’s draft testimony here.

Announcement from the Council:

Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray announces a public hearing by the Committee of the Whole on Bill 18-770, the “Bullying Prevention Act of 2010,” and a joint public hearing with the Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation on Bill 18-1057, the “Harassment and Intimidation Prevention Act of 2010.” The public hearing is scheduled for Monday, November 29, 2010, at 10:00 a.m., in Room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. This notice has been abbreviated to afford the public the opportunity to testify on the legislation before the end of the current Council period.

Bill 18-770, introduced by Chairman Gray and Councilmembers Michael Brown, would require the development of a model policy prohibiting bullying, harassment and intimidation in the District of Columbia Public Schools; define various types of bullying; require the DC Public Schools to establish policies prohibiting bullying, harassment and intimidation in schools based on the model policy; and require that school employees who report bullying are not civilly liable under certain circumstances.

Bill 18-1047, introduced by Councilmember Thomas, would require the establishment within District of Columbia Public Schools, District of Columbia Public Charter Schools, the Department of Parks and Recreation, District of Columbia Public Library, and the University of the District of Columbia policies to prohibit harassment, intimidation, and bullying, including by means of electronic communication; and to establish bullying prevention programs in the respective agencies.

Individuals and representatives of organizations who wish to testify at the public hearing are requested to telephone Aretha Latta, Administrative Assistant to the Committee of the Whole, at 202-724-8196 or by e-mail at alatta@dccouncil.us, and furnish their names, addresses, telephone numbers and organizational affiliation, if any, by the close of business on Wednesday, November 24, 2010. Witnesses should also provide 20 copies of their written testimony at the hearing or submit one copy of their written testimony by November 24, 2010. Each person presenting verbal testimony may be limited to 3 minutes in order to permit each witness an opportunity to be heard. Written statements for the record are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. All statements should be submitted to the Committee of the Whole, Council of the District of Columbia, John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 410, Washington, DC 20004.

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