Today is a historic day for safer schools advocates in the District of Columbia! During its 37th legislative meeting, DC’s City Council unanimously approved the Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2012.
The District of Columbia is the first in the United States to pass such a comprehensive bill targeting bullying. The bill covers all youth serving agencies in the District, including parks, libraries, foster youth services, detention facilities, after school programs, and all schools, and requires such agencies to have explicit anti-bullying policies. The bill prohibits bullying against a broad range of protected characteristics and protects both LGBT youth as well as the children of LGBT parents.
The Youth Bullying Prevention Act was supported by an enormously diverse coalition of local DC and national groups. We could have never reached this day without this coalition.
Now that the bill has passed the City Council, the Mayor has 10 days to sign the bill. Once the bill is enacted, Congress has 30 legislative days to review the act, after which, the act becomes a law.
Well-done DC City Council and a big Thank You to the coalition that made this bill a reality – because of you, students, youth, and families across DC will be able to access services and programs without fear of bullying and harassment.