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Activist Camp, Texas GSA Network-a project of OutYouth
Equality Texas Student Action Summit

Safe Schools for All Youth

The Issue

Every Texas student deserves an education free from the harmful physical and emotional effects of harassment and bullying. Despite this, in schools across Texas, thousands of children dread going to school to face the taunts, jeers, humiliation, physical intimidation and pain inflicted through harassment and bullying.
Under current law, students are not specifically protected from bullying and harassment based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Equality Texas advocates for legislation that creates a safe and dignified learning environment for all students, including training and support for educators so that they can prevent and address acts of bullying and harassment.
In the summer of 2011, the legislature passed HB 1942, a new anti-bullying law with expanded requirements for how schools deal with bullying. This new law is essential for keeping children safe from the devastating effects of bullying.
What does HB 1942 do?

Bullying is a chronic problem throughout our public school system.  HB 1942 marks an important modification of the Texas Education Code dealing with bullying and harassment. HB 1942:
• Includes the definition of bullying in Chapter 37 of the Texas Education Code
• Updates the definition to include cyberbullying
• Provides for the transfer of students who engage in bullying rather than just the victims
• Prescribes that school health curriculums include practices that address awareness, prevention, identification, and self-defense in relation to bullying
• Mandates that each school district adopt a widely accessible policy to address the prevention, investigation, and reporting procedures for incidents of bullying
• Takes effect in September 2012

Going Beyond HB 1942 - Model Policies for Texas ISDs
Subsequent to the passage of HB 1942, two Texas ISDs have passed local policies that go beyond the minimum standards set by HB 1942. These district policies specifically prohibit bullying, harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. They also incorporate provisions of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights "Dear Colleague" letter regarding gender based harassment under Title IX.
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