State law requires districts to adopt comprehensive anti-bullying policies addressing all U.S. Department of Education-recommended policy requirements.
Code of the District of Columbia 2-1535.02. Bullying prevention task force.
(a) Within 90 days of September 14, 2012, the Mayor shall establish a bullying prevention task force. (b)
- (1) The task force shall consist of representatives from a diversity of the educational institutions and agencies that will be affected by this subchapter, as well as community representatives, including:
- (A) Teachers;
- (B) Administrators from educational institutions and agencies;
- (C) School mental health professionals;
- (D) Parents, and legal guardians;
- (E) Youth;
- (F) Direct service providers; and
- (G) Advocates.
- (2) In constituting this task force, the Mayor shall consider geographic and socioeconomic diversity as well as other forms of diversity. (c) The task force shall:
- (1) Provide guidance to the Mayor on the implementation of this subchapter;
- (2) Within 180 days of September 14, 2012, publicize a model policy, which shall contain each of the components required in § 2-1535.03(b);
- (3) Assist educational institutions and agencies with developing policies in accordance with § 2-1535.03;
- (4) Compile, and make available to each agency, educational institution, and grantee, a list of free or low-cost methods for establishing the bullying prevention programs authorized in § 2-1535.06;
- (5) Within 180 days of receipt of the bullying prevention policies submitted pursuant to § 2-1535.03(c), review each adopted policy for compliance with the requirements of § 2-1535.03(b);
- (5A) Appropriately engage parents and legal guardians of youth served by each agency in bullying prevention efforts;
- (5B) Provide to each agency and parents or legal guardians a referral list of community-based programs or similar resources that mitigate bullying and address identified behavioral health needs as necessary;
- (5C) Provide consultation and review evidence-based school climate data to ensure full implementation of the law; and
- (6) Promulgate guidelines to assist the Mayor in evaluating the effectiveness of the bullying prevention policies that have been established. (d) The task force shall disband by August 2018; provided, that at the discretion of the Mayor, a one-year extension may be granted by the Mayor.
Code of the District of Columbia 2-1535.03. Bullying prevention policy.
(a) Within 365 days of September 14, 2012, in coordination with the task force established pursuant to § 2-1535.02, each agency, educational institution, and grantee shall adopt a bullying prevention policy to be enforced:
- (1) On its property, including electronic communication on, or with, its property;
- (2) At sponsored functions;
- (3) On its transportation, or transportation sponsored by it; and
- (4) Through electronic communication to the extent that it is directed at a youth and it substantially interferes with the youth’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the agency, education institution, or grantee. (b) Each agency, educational institution, and grantee shall control the content of its policy; provided, that each policy includes:
- (1) The definition of bullying set forth in § 2-1535.01(2);
- (2) A statement prohibiting bullying;
- (3) A statement that the policy applies to participation in functions sponsored by the agency, educational institution, or grantee;
- (4) The expected code of conduct;
- (5) A list of the consequences that can result from an identified incident of bullying, which are designed to;
- (A) Appropriately correct the bullying behavior;
- (B) Prevent another occurrence of bullying or retaliation;
- (C) Protect the target of the bullying;
- (D) Be flexible so that in application they can be unique to the individual incident and varied in method and severity based on the:
- (i) Nature of the incident;
- (ii) Developmental age of the person bullying; and
- (iii) Any history of problem behavior from the person bullying;
- (6) A procedure for reporting bullying or retaliation for reporting an act of bullying, including for reporting bullying anonymously; provided, that no formal response shall be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report;
- (7) A procedure for prompt investigation of reports of violations of its policy and of complaints of bullying or retaliation, including the name and contact information of the person responsible for investigating reports;
- (8) An appeal process, in accordance with § 2-1535.04, for a person accused of bullying or a person who is the target of bullying who is not satisfied with the outcome of the initial investigation; and
- (9) A statement that prohibits retaliation against any person who reports bullying, including the possible consequences for a person who engages in retaliatory behavior. (c) Within 365 days of September 14, 2012, each agency, educational institution, and grantee shall submit a copy of its adopted policy to the task force, pursuant to § 2-1535.02(c)(5). (d) The requirements of this subchapter and any policy adopted pursuant to this subchapter shall be deemed to constitute health and safety requirements for educational institutions. (e) Information on the bullying prevention policy shall be incorporated into new employee training. (f) Each agency, educational institution, and grantee shall develop a plan for how the policy is to be publicized, including the plan for:
- (1) Discussing its bullying policy with youth; and
- (2) Publicizing that the policy applies to participation in functions sponsored by an agency, educational institution, or grantee.
Code of the District of Columbia 2-1535.06. Bullying prevention programs.
Following the adoption of a bullying prevention policy, as required by § 2-1535.03, each agency, educational institution, and grantee may: (1) Establish an annual bullying prevention program for youth, which for each educational institution should align with established health-education Standard; (2) Inform youth about their right to be free from discrimination in public accommodations and education, and of the redress available for a violation of their rights under the Human Rights Act; and (3) Provide training on bullying prevention to all employees and volunteers who have significant contact with youth.
District of Columbia Municipal Regulations 1500. Purpose.
1500.1 The purpose of this chapter is to provide guidance, procedures and Standard for the implementation of the Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2012, effective September 14, 2012 (D. C. Law 19-167; D.C. Official Code §§ 2-1535.01 et seq.).
District of Columbia Municipal Regulations 1502 Adoption of a Bullying Prevention Policy
1502.3 A covered entity's bullying prevention policy shall at a minimum include the following elements: (a) The legal definition of bullying set forth above; (b) A statement prohibiting bullying, including cyberbullying; (c) A statement prohibiting retaliation against a victim or witness of bullying, or a person who reports bullying; (d) A statement that the policy applies at all of the locations listed in § 1501; (e) A code of conduct; (f) A list of consequences that can result from an identified incident of bullying that are designed to:
- (1) Appropriately correct the behavior deemed to be bullying;
- (2) Prevent future occurrences of bullying or retaliation;
- (3) Ensure the safety and well-being of the person who has reportedly experienced or is reportedly at risk for future acts of bullying or retaliation; and
- (4) Be flexible in application, appropriate to the individual incident, and varied in method and severity based on the:
- (A) Nature of the incident;
- (B) Developmental age of the person exhibiting bullying behaviors; and
- (C) Any history of problem behavior of all students involved in the incident(s) and where available, history of behavioral concerns documented in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan as a result of a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), approved Dec. 3, 2004 (118 Stat. 2647; 20 U.S.C. §§ 1400 et seq.) or Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, approved Sept. 26, 1973 (87 Stat. 394; 29 U.S.C. § 794). (g) A mechanism and procedures for staff, students, parents/guardians, and others to report bullying, retaliation for reporting bullying, or other violations of the bullying prevention policy that permits anonymous reporting, provided however, that no formal response shall be taken solely on the basis of anonymous reporting; (h) A procedure for prompt investigation of reports of bullying, retaliation, or other violations of the bullying prevention policy that identifies the name and contact information for the person(s) responsible for investigating bullying and retaliation; (i) A secondary investigation appeal process, consistent with § 1506, for a person accused of bullying or a person who is the target of bullying or retaliation who is not satisfied with the outcome of an initial investigation under § 1505; and (j) A statement that retaliation against any person for reporting an incident of bullying is prohibited and a description of the possible consequences for a person who engages in retaliatory behavior.
District of Columbia Municipal Regulations 1503. Code of Conduct.
1503.1 The code of conduct required in the bullying prevention policy (referenced in § 1502.3(e)) should provide that: (a) The covered entity expects youth to behave in a way that supports the covered entity's objective to provide a safe and welcoming environment for other youth; and (b) The covered entity expects youth who are part of the covered entity community to: (1) Treat all other youth at the covered entity with respect; (2) Respect the property of other youth at the covered entity; and (3) Respond appropriately to instructions from covered entity staff regarding behavior toward other youth.
District of Columbia Municipal Regulations 1512. Office of Human Rights Roles and Responsibilities.
1512.1 The BPP Director shall assist covered entities with developing bullying prevention policies and programs.
1512.2 The BPP Director shall compile and make available to each covered entity a list of free or low-cost methods for establishing the bullying prevention programs.
1512.3 The BPP Director shall conduct training for covered entities on bullying and techniques for investigating allegations of bullying on a periodic basis when requested.
1512.4 When contacted by parents or guardians of youth in covered entities, the BPP Director will contact the school, agency, or grantee to ensure that the bullying prevention policy is compliant and has been fully implemented with regard to reporting, investigating, and addressing alleged incidents. This approach will provide an immediate response to parents and guardians as well as provide support and guidance for all parties (families and school or agencies) to ensure that appropriates steps are taken to address the situation.
District-wide Model Bullying Prevention Policy
The model policy is intended to guide LEAs in developing and adopting their own policies to prevent and address bullying to meet the requirements of the statute. The model policy also provides additional recommendations above the requirements of the statute.