Current law provides that school districts and county offices of education are responsible for the overall development of a comprehensive school safety plan for each of its schools, and requires the plans to include, among other elements, appropriate strategies that will address the school’s procedures for complying with current laws related to school safety, including a discrimination and harassment policy, as specified. Current law provides that the Legislature encourages, as comprehensive school safety plans are reviewed and updated, all plans, to the extent that resources are available, to include policies and procedures aimed at the prevention of bullying. This bill would delete the statement encouraging comprehensive school safety plans to include policies and procedures aimed at the prevention of bullying.
AAP Positional Letter
April 1, 2018
Honorable Patrick O’Donnell
Chair, Assembly Education Committee
1020 N Street, Room 159
Sacramento, California 95814
RE: AB 2291 (Chiu): School safety: bullying
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Chair O’Donnell:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, strongly supports proposed legislation AB 2291 (Chiu), which would require public schools to publicize their policies and procedures on bullying and cyberbullying, and to share the California Department of Education’s online training with school staff.
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, victims of bullying are at risk for problems adjusting to school, mental health issues, and frequent headaches, and both bullied and bullying children are at increased risk for depression. Studies show that approximately 1 in 5 students are bullied, and the percentage is much higher for ethnic, racial, and sexual minority students. However, schools are not currently required to address bullying in their school safety plans, despite its prevalence and dangers.
AB 2291 (Chiu) would rectify this oversight by requiring that schools publicize their policies and procedures on bullying and cyberbullying, as well as to share a module developed by the Department of Education on bullying prevention with school staff. This stands to reduce bullying in public schools and increase the effectiveness of staff responses to bullying that does occur.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 across the state respectfully urge an AYE vote on AB 2291 (Chiu). Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Assemblymember David Chiu, author
Members of the Assembly Education Committee
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne