The Broward County School Board has passed the strongest anti-bully policy in the state. The policy is Florida’s most comprehensive; and it contains a full list of prohibited forms of harassment, bullying and discrimination, including targeting victims based on their sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
Equality Florida – a statewide education and advocacy organization – spearheaded an eight-year coalition effort to pass a statewide bullying bill. The new law (HB 669) requires school districts to develop and enact anti-bully policies by December 1, 2008, and it requires that those policies to protect all students.
With yesterday’s passage of the new policy, Broward becomes the statewide leader in addressing the epidemic of bullying and harassment in Florida’s schools.
“This is the ideal policy that other schools should replicate. By fully listing all forms of prohibited harassment, Broward County is making crystal clear what the legislature has repeatedly said, that all students must be equally protected,” said Nadine Smith Executive Director of Equality Florida.
Equality Florida and the Florida Safe Schools Coalition lobbied for a statewide anti-bully law for eight years.
The bill passed unanimously in the House and Senate in April with both chambers affirming that local schools must provide protections for all students in precisely the same manner and they must update or adopt anti-bullying policies accordingly, or face losing a portion of their funding.
Source: Equality Florida