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Harkin Statement on Education Department’s New Anti-Bullying Guidance for Schools Around the Country

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today regarding the anti-bullying guidance issued today by the U.S. Department of Education for schools around the country.

“As schools once again open their doors for students throughout the country, we know that one of the primary building blocks of effective instruction is a school environment that creates safe, successful, and positive classrooms where children can effectively learn from their teachers and peers.  I applaud the Department of Education for reminding schools of their responsibility to ensure a supportive environment for all children. When bullying takes place, particularly for those who are most vulnerable—including students with disabilities—school personnel must act quickly to remedy the situation. 

“Emily Domayer, a young Iowa woman with autism who testified at my hearing on bullying in June 2012, said: ‘Every student has the right to have a safe learning environment…bullying will go away when schools, parents, teachers, and students work together so kids understand that bullying will not be tolerated.’ The guidance issued today from the Department of Education helps us move towards safe learning environments for all students.”