The state's top education official today called on parents, coaches, teachers, students and school administrators to step up efforts to fight bullying in public schools across California.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said that grants are currently available for school districts that are implementing anti-bullying programs at school campuses to "get bullies to stop bullying."
"We know we're not doing enough to meet the demands of safety concerns that are out there," Torlakson said. Cyber-bullying and incidents of intimidation at non-school activities like city sports leagues have made a consolidated anti-bullying effort "somewhat tricky to navigate," Torlakson said. "Every single student in every single school deserves to feel safe," he said.
Assemblyman Mike Eng, D-Monterey, last year introduced anti-bullying legislation that was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in Oct. 2011. Eng said he was inspired to author AB 1156 because bullying is an "epidemic" that occurs "every hour of every day on every campus." "I was bullied," Eng said.
"As a child, I was so afraid of participating in after school programs that I literally ran off the campus when the bell rang." AB 1156 requires school site personnel to receive training in bullying prevention plus grants bullying victims priority for transferring out of a school, if requested.
Information on grants and funding for anti-bullying programs can be found online at the California Department of Education's website www.cde.ca.gov.