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NEA applauds the Administration’s efforts to address bullying

Students learn best in safe classrooms

WASHINGTON - October 26, 2010 -

Recent high profile and heartbreaking cases of students taking their own lives due to bullying has catapulted the issue to the top of the national education agenda. The National Education Association commends the U.S. Department of Education for addressing the growing issue of bullying in our nation’s schools. The following statement can be attributed to Dennis Van Roekel, president of the 3.2 million-member National Education Association:

“Many students in our nation’s schools are robbed of the opportunity to learn because they are bullied and victimized daily. Bullying takes a terrible toll on students, and the scars can last a lifetime.

“We applaud the Administration for recognizing the growing problem of bullying and for releasing guidance clarifying that certain forms of student bullying violate federal education anti-discrimination laws. We commend the Education Department for bringing national attention to the problem of bullying and harassment and for igniting the conversation in our public schools.

“Students learn best in safe classrooms. NEA is dedicated to making sure every student has access to great public schools and quality education. Intolerance affects education. Schools should be ‘safe zones’—places where students are comfortable being themselves and expressing their ideas. 

“NEA believes that all people—regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, size, physical ability, sexual orientation, or gender identification—should be guaranteed a safe and inclusive environment within their public school. 

“Our members are constantly working to help ensure the safety of all students. We launched the NEA Bullying Survey in the spring. The survey, a rigorous research-based instrument, will address the critical issue of bullying and advance the research on staff members’ perceptions of, and involvement in, bullying prevention efforts. A final report of the survey findings is expected by the end of the year.

“NEA offers training programs to help teachers and education support professionals deal with student-on-student bullying and sexual harassment. One focuses on concrete steps educators can take to prevent bullying.

“The National Education Association Health Information Network (NEA HIN) is also active in preventing and responding to school violence as it results from bullying, both in person and online. NEA also strongly supports Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports (PBIS), a school-wide prevention program that uses behavior techniques that provide safe, supportive learning environments in our schools.

“We need to continue to foster the active involvement of teachers, administrators, education support professionals, parents and the larger community in a whole school initiative to eliminate bullying and harassment. It is our shared responsibility to ensure that every child can attend a safe public school. Working together, we can bully-proof our nation’s schools.”

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Celeste Busser  (202) 822-7259,