FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 14, 2015
CONTACT: Elliot Imse, Director of Policy and Communications – 202.481.3773; [email protected]
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) Citywide Bullying Prevention Program today released a comprehensive toolkit to assist District schools in training teachers and staff on bullying prevention and interventions. The toolkit – created in partnership with the youth research center Child Trends – provides presentation slides, scenarios and self-assessments for schools to use in ensuring staff are prepared to prevent and properly respond to incidents of bullying. Its release is part of a larger OHR effort to assist District schools and youth-serving agencies in implementing bullying prevention policies required under the Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2012 (YBPA).
“Our Citywide Bullying Prevention Program worked with District schools and government agencies to develop research-based bullying prevention policies that positively impact the lives of District youth, and now we must work together to ensure they are effectively implemented,” said OHR Director Mónica Palacio. “The administrator, teacher and staff trainings that result from this toolkit will play an important role in that implementation, and in Mayor Bowser’s goal of reducing bullying and ensuring all youth can be safe inside and outside of the classroom.”
OHR will conduct an interactive training using the toolkit at the DC Public Schools’ School Climate Academy this summer, the Washington Teachers Union Leadership Institute in June, and will also offer it to charter schools in the coming months. Educational institutions and agencies can conduct their own training by designating an in-house facilitator who uses the toolkit to prepare and ensure all necessary areas are covered. Topics include: (1) understanding the YBPA and its requirements; (2) defining what is and what is not bullying; (3) best practices in bullying situations; and (4) recognizing the role of school climate in bullying prevention. Also provided is a tool for schools to assess their current capacity for addressing school climate issues.
The Bullying Prevention and Intervention in DC Educational Institutions training toolkit is available for download at no-cost at ohr.dc.gov/page/bullyingprevention/toolkit.
About the Citywide Bullying Prevention Program at the Office of Human Rights
The Citywide Youth Bullying Prevention Program – created in June 2013 – aims to reduce incidents of bullying across the District by emphasizing prevention and proper procedures for responding when incidents occur. The program works with youth-serving government agencies, District schools and youth-serving government grantees to ensure bullying prevention policies are adopted and implemented in ways consistent with the best practices adopted by the Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force. The best practices are demonstrated in the Task Force’s District-wide Model Bullying Prevention Policy, released in January of 2013.
About the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights
The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) was established to eradicate discrimination, increase equal opportunity and protect human rights for persons who live in or visit the District of Columbia. The agency enforces local and federal human rights laws, including the DC Human Rights Act, by providing a legal process to those who believe they have been discriminated against. OHR also proactively enforces human rights in the District through Director’s Inquiries, which allow it to identify and investigate practices and policies that may be discriminatory.
About Child Trends
Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that studies children at all stages of development. Its mission is to improve the lives and prospects of children and youth by conducting high-quality research and sharing the resulting knowledge with practitioners and policymakers. Child Trends has more than 120 employees and annual revenue of about $14 million.