SCHAUMBURG — U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Schaumburg) announced the introduction of the STOP Bullying Act on Tuesday.
The representative’s office said that the bill incentivizes the establishment of statewide anti-bullying task forces to study, address, and reduce bullying in primary and secondary schools. It specifically addresses bullying of LGBTQ students and is endorsed by GSLEN.
“Every child should feel safe at school – period. Yet, bullying and harassment continues to persist in middle and high schools nationwide,” Krishnamoorthi said in a statement. “Hostile school environments have been proven to have a detrimental effect on the academic success and health of each student. To combat this, thirteen states and the District of Columbia have convened taskforces to evaluate, research, and listen to their community on how to make schools safer for all children, regardless of their actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. The STOP Bullying Act builds on this model and incentivizes the creation of an anti-bullying taskforce in each state across the country.”
The STOP Bullying Act would:
- Establish a federal grant program through the Department of Education that would award grants to states to establish anti-bullying task forces.
- Each task force shall convene educators and community leaders in order to evaluate and strengthen prevention efforts at elementary and secondary schools.
- The chair of the taskforce will be designated by the Chief Education Officer of the state.
- The task force must be comprised of at least one of the following: teachers at elementary and secondary schools, school administrators, parents, K-12 students, guidance counselors, child psychologists, lawyers, representatives and professionals from organizations who specializes in supportive services to students who identify as LGBTQ+, representatives from the State Education Agency focused on school improvement.
- Each task force should coordinate their activities with other boards and commission within the state to ensure consistency and positive outcomes for students.
- Each task force shall submit a final report to the Chief Education Officer of the state and the Secretary of Education with the findings and conclusions of the task force, legislative recommendations, and best practices to reducing bullying and educating parents and school staff.