School bullying and harassment — Work group.
(1) The office of the superintendent of public instruction and the office of the education ombuds shall convene a work group on school bullying and harassment prevention to develop, recommend, and implement strategies to improve school climate and create respectful learning environments in all public schools in Washington. The superintendent of public instruction or a designee shall serve as the chair of the work group.
(2) The work group shall:
(a) Consider whether additional disaggregated data should be collected regarding incidents of bullying and harassment or disciplinary actions and make recommendations to the office of the superintendent of public instruction for collection of such data;
(b) Examine possible procedures for anonymous reporting of incidents of bullying and harassment;
(c) Identify curriculum and best practices for school districts to improve school climate, create respectful learning environments, and train staff and students in de-escalation and intervention techniques;
(d) Identify curriculum and best practices for incorporating instruction about mental health, youth suicide prevention, and prevention of bullying and harassment;
(e) Recommend best practices for informing parents about the harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention policy and procedure under RCW 28A.300.285 and involving parents in improving school climate;
(f) Recommend training for district personnel who are designated as the primary contact regarding the policy and procedure and for school resource officers and other school security personnel;
(g) Recommend educator preparation and certification requirements in harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention and de-escalation and intervention techniques for teachers, educational staff associates, and school administrators;
(h) Examine and recommend policies for discipline of students and staff who harass, intimidate, or bully; and
(i) In collaboration with the state board for community and technical colleges, examine and recommend policies to protect K-12 students attending community and technical colleges from harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
(3) The work group must include representatives from the state board of education, the Washington state parent teacher association, the Washington state association of school psychologists, school directors, school administrators, principals, teachers, school counselors, classified school staff, youth, community organizations, and parents.
(4) The work group shall submit a biennial progress and status report to the governor and the education committees of the legislature, beginning December 1, 2011, with additional reports by December 1, 2013, and December 1, 2015.
(5) The work group is terminated effective January 1, 2016.
[2013 c 23 § 51; 2011 c 185 § 2.]
| Finding -- 2011 c 185: "The legislature finds that having updated school district policies and procedures is a step in the right direction for preventing bullying, intimidation, and harassment, but more steps are needed. A work group could help to maintain focus and attention on antibullying and antiharassment, as well as monitor progress. In addition, students' knowledge and understanding of two key correlates of bullying and harassment, depression and youth suicide, could be enhanced through instruction and assessments that address mental health and suicide prevention." [2011 c 185 § 1.]|