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Rabbi Saperstein Welcomes Public School Guidelines on Harassment, Bullying and Free Expression

Saperstein: "This document, along with existing state laws and policies and the 2010 guidance issued by the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, will help administrators and teachers respond appropriately when challenges arise concerning speech and harassment."

Contact: Sean Thibault or Noah Baron
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

May 22, 2012 Washington, DC - Upon the release of new guidelines concerning harassment, bullying and free expression in public schools, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

The document, "Harassment, Bullying and Free Expression: Guidelines for Free and Safe Public Schools," released today by a coalition of faith and secular organizations makes clear, as it should, that bullying and harassment are never acceptable or to be tolerated by schools. As it notes, "All students deserve protection against bullying and harassment. A safe, caring learning environment is essential if students are to achieve their academic potential." To that end, this document, along with existing state laws and policies and the 2010 guidance issued by the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, will help administrators and teachers respond appropriately when challenges arise concerning speech and harassment.

We look forward to continuing to work with these groups and others, including those in the LGBT community, to ensure the safety and well-being of students and to uphold constitutional principles. Administrators and teachers who overwhelmingly desire to see their students thrive and achieve require support and guidance to be able to react appropriately when speech crosses the line toward bullying and harassment. Ensuring that guidance exists at the governmental and organizational levels will help provide students in every state with safe and fulfilling school environments.



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