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U.S.: Bully victims need more help in law

Sept. 30, 2011 at 7:02 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- A report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights finds federal laws and many states do not fully protect all students from peer-to-peer bullying and harassment.

The report, "Peer-to-Peer Violence and Bullying, Examining the Federal Response," examined the role played by the Departments of Education and the Department of Justice in addressing peer-to-peer discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, religion, disability, sex and/or lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender status.

Specifically, the commission's found:

-- Bullying and harassment based on sex, race, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or religion, are harmful to American youth.

-- 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.

-- Federal civil rights laws do not protect students from peer-to-peer harassment that is solely on the basis of sexual orientation.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with monitoring federal civil rights enforcement.

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