October 26, 2010
Cynthia Leonor Garza
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On U.S. Education Department’s Guidance on Bullying
WASHINGTON—The AFT welcomes the guidance letter on bullying and harassment issued today by the U.S. Department of Education. The department takes a needed step by declaring that bullying has no place in our schools and will not be tolerated.
Every child deserves a safe learning environment that promotes a climate of respect and dignity. Recent tragedies resulting from intolerant behavior have steeled our commitment—and, we hope, the commitment of parents, superintendents, principals, faith and civic leaders, and other students—to protect our most vulnerable and at-risk children.
The AFT believes that access to additional resources and training as well as parental involvement are key factors in reducing bullying and harassment. We look forward to continued dialogue, including the announced White House conference next year, to further increase awareness around this important issue.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.