New York, NY, August 20, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has organized a coalition of 49 national civil rights, religious, education, and professional organizations to submit comments to the Department of Education (DOE) in support of changes to mandatory reporting on bullying and harassment incidents in schools.
The comments, presented in a letter to the DOE, are in response to proposed changes to the Department’s Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) program announced in June. The CRDC is the largest and most comprehensive data collection instrument of its kind.
Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights Director, and David S. Waren, ADL Education Director, issued the following statement:
We were pleased to coordinate the drafting of these comments from an array of national organizations with real interest and expertise on bullying and harassment. We expect the coalition’s outstanding, united voice will have an impact on essential CRDC programs going forward.
Our comments support the DOE’s decision to expand the CRDC to include reports of bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation and religion, and we have also encouraged the collection of data on incidents based on gender identity. Expanding data on bullying that is motivated by sexual orientation, religion, and gender identity will help educators and policymakers develop better, more informed policy and programs.
Our comments also urge the DOE to reconsider its proposal to eliminate questions asking whether a school has adopted written policies prohibiting harassment and bullying. We oppose this proposal because questioning the adoption of anti-bullying policies stresses the value of said policies, and demonstrates their importance to the Department of Education.