City Council considers anti-bullying bill

The D.C. City Council is reviewing a bill that bans bullying in public schools and D.C. agencies.

The “Harassment and Intimidation Prevention Act of 2010” was proposed after Tyler Clementi, a student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, jumped to his death last month due to cyber-bulling.

If the bill passes, D.C. public and charter schools, public libraries, the Department of Parks and Recreation and the University of the District of Columbia would be required to adopt policies clearly describing the consequences of “harassment, intimidation, and bullying.”

All Council members except Marion Berry cosponsored the bill, including Chairman and Mayor-elect Vincent Gray and Ward 3 council member and GW Law School Professor Mary Cheh.

“It’s just a matter of reinforcing what’s already on the books,” said Doxie McCoy, a spokeswoman for Gray.

The council hopes to pass the bill before its session closes in December.

The anti-bullying law would provide funds for training public and charter school, public library and UDC officials to notice and prevent bullying. It would also provide protection to those who report harassment or intimidation.

“Incidents around the country have been called to our attention,” McCoy said. “The District of Columbia faces bullying issues as well which need to be addressed with the help of parents.”

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