Council Votes to Clarify Anti-Bullying Policies Citywide

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The city council voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass Vice Mayor Robert Garcia’s proposal to draft and adopt an anti-bullying policy for the City of Long Beach youth programs and parks. The policy, which will be based on LBUSD’s recently adopted anti-bullying policy, will be drafted by the City Attorney’s office and returned to Council for final approval later this summer.

“This is a great step towards making our City as safe as possible for children and their families,” said Garcia, who is himself an educator. “Bullying is an important public health issue, and as the City’s largest provider of youth services after the school district, it’s essential that Long Beach take this issue very seriously.” 

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, bullying can lead to absences, declining school grades, mental health disturbances and suicide. Witnesses to bullying as well as bullies themselves – not only victims of bullying – are at increased risk of drug abuse, criminal behavior, and depression. About one-third of middle grade students are involved in bullying, either as bully or victim.

Since 2005, Long Beach Unified School District has adopted several policies in support of a safe and secure environment in schools, including, earlier this month, an official bullying policy, which defines bullying and provides policies in support of prevention, intervention, and discipline, as well as a legal foundation for the Board’s approach.

The motion, cosponsored by Councilmembers Schipske, Johnson and Neal, directs the City manager to work with the Human Relations Commission to craft an anti-bullying policy based on LBUSD’s.

For more information, contact the office of Councilmember Garcia at district1@longbeach.gov or by calling (562) 570-6919.

Also, visit http://www.stopbullying.gov for helpful resources on preventing and responding to bullying.

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