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Update on Department Initiatives to Prevent and Address Bullying in Schools

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
January 14, 2011


At the September 2010 meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Board approved regulations - 603 CMR 49.00 "Notification of Bullying and Retaliation" - as required by Chapter 92 of the Acts of 2010, An Act Relative to Bullying in Schools. In doing so, the Board directed the Commissioner to work with interested organizations to develop guidance for schools on the implementation of these notification requirements, in light of the public comments received concerning vulnerable populations of students. Per the Board's vote, we are reporting back on these activities at the January 25, 2011 Board meeting.

The Department convened a working group to develop guidance on the notification regulations as they relate to the vulnerable population of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. In particular, the Department was concerned about required notification in the case where parents of a LGBT student who has been bullied may not be aware of their child's sexual orientation or gender identify/expression. Organizations invited to participate in meetings to develop the guidance were: Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN); Massachusetts Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth; and the Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD). We appreciate the thoughtful contributions and time that the representatives of these organizations devoted to this task over a series of meetings. Attached is the guidance that we have prepared with the working group. We will send out the guidance document in our regular update to school officials and will add it to the bullying prevention and intervention resources.

At the January 25th Board meeting, Associate Commissioner John Bynoe and staff will review the guidance and update the Board on the Department's internal activities and external collaborative initiatives related to the implementation of the bullying prevention and intervention law. Associate Commissioner Bynoe and I look forward to a productive discussion with the Board on this timely and important topic.


Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Parent Notification Guidance: Implementation of 603 CMR 49.05

Last Updated: January 24, 2011
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