Boston, MA, May 30, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) submitted testimony to the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Education today in support of House bill 454 and Senate bill 206 - legislation that would strengthen the state’s anti-bullying law. The League’s testimony urged lawmakers to add enumerated categories that will expressly identify specific categories or characteristics as prohibited grounds of bullying and create enhanced data collection and increased school accountability through reporting requirements that capture data concerning bullying and school climate.
Robert Trestan, ADL Acting New England Regional Director, issued the following statement:
Massachusetts remains a national leader with respect to protecting our school children. A combination of accountability and effective policies will ensure our leadership and ultimately benefit the Commonwealth’s children. This proposal will help schools effectuate changing the overall climate in our schools.
When students feel unsafe, they are unable to learn and often pushed towards high risk behavior. We have an obligation to take every step to protect our children and create a pathway to their success.
The legislation implements the recommendations of the Massachusetts Commission on Bullying Prevention which was established when the landmark anti-bullying law was passed in 2010.
ADL led a broad coalition that supported passage of the original law in 2010 and has supported the Commission’s recommendations.