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Report on Bullying from the US Commission on Civil Rights

Peer to Peer Violence to Bullying:Examining the Federal Response
Oct 03, 2011 The US Commission on Civil Rights recently released a report on bullying, the purpose of which is to examine the role played by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice in addressing peer-to-peer discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, religion, disability, sex and/or LGBT status.

To that end, the Commission gathered enforcement data from the Departments of Education and Justice and convened a day-long briefing on the subject of peer-to-peer violence and bullying. Twenty presenters participated in the briefing. Among the panelists invited to the briefing were: current and former federal government officials, academics, and representatives from a diverse set of advocacy organizations. In addition, the Commission received numerous written submissions from the public, academics, and advocacy organizations.

Based on the evidence gathered by the Commission, their conclusion is that despite the harm that peer-to-peer bullying and harassment due to a student‘s membership in certain classes, such as race, religion, or sexual orientation, current federal laws (and the laws of many states) do not fully protect all students from peer-to-peer bullying and harassment resulting from animus toward their group status.

Specifically, the Commission‘s findings, by majority vote, are:

1. Bullying and harassment, including bullying and harassment based on sex, race, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or religion, are harmful to American youth.
2. Current federal civil rights laws do not provide the U.S. Department of Education with jurisdiction to protect students from peer-to-peer harassment that is solely on the basis of religion.
3. The current federal civil rights laws do not protect students from peer-to-peer harassment that is solely on the basis of sexual orientation.

To see the full report please visit http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/2011statutory.pdf

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