The School Board of Broward County has approved the first school district Anti-Bullying Policy in Florida. The policy, which was adopted on July 22, 2008, was designed by the District’s Office of Prevention Programs and Student Support Services, under the Safe Schools Healthy Students Grant initiative.
The Florida Department of Education will utilize the new policy as a model for the state’s other 66 school districts. The policy was developed prior to the passage of House Bill 669, which mandates that all districts in the state adopt Anti-Bullying policies by Dec. 1, 2008.
The District’s Anti-Bullying Policy specifically prohibits bullying of or by any District student or employee, with consequences for those acts that meet the definition of bullying as defined in the policy:
“Bullying” means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees.
The policy sets forth guidelines for the identification and reporting of bullying – as the overall goal of the initiative is the protection of students and their increased feelings of safety and belonging. The policy requires teachers and staff to utilize a variety of prevention and intervention activities and includes tools and resources that create environments of safety and respect and expectations of appropriate behavior.
The Anti-Bullying Policy was developed by a District task force, which included community and parental involvement.