Aug152011

PeaceBuilders and California Legislators Keep Kids Safe from Bullying

Posted by Kassy Perry

Bills Will Reduce Bullying and Build Safe Communities

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Recent cases of bullying and an alarming increase in related suicides have prompted California legislators to introduce bills that will protect children from bullying behavior. PeaceBuilders – a bullying prevention program shown to reduce violence and aggressive behavior while increasing positive, peaceful behavior – has been working with legislators in support of bullying prevention policies.

“We know that children have had irreversible emotional harm caused by bullying,” said Michelle Molina, PeaceBuilders’ President and CEO. “These bills will take bullying out of the shadows and prevent children from falling victim of these harmful situations. We know that the children in schools that use PeaceBuilders feel safer and report fewer incidents of bullying and other violent behavior, allowing them to focus on learning.”

PeaceBuilders supports legislation that will strengthen California’s current laws and implement new ones to ensure that schools are safe environments where students can learn. The three bills are:

  • AB 9 (Ammiano) – Puts school safety first by creating strong and clear anti-harassment policies and programs.
  • AB 1156 (Eng) – Expands the definition of bullying, linking it to academic performance as well as requiring schools personnel to take bullying prevention trainings.
  • SB 919 (Lieu) – Protects children from being bullied by “sexting” or lewd photos electronically

A fourth bill, AB 746 (Campos), extending the definition of an “electronic act” to include posts on a social network site, was signed into law earlier this month. Additionally, ACR 22 – declaring March 2011 California School Bullying Prevention Month – was signed by the Governor earlier this year when a certificate honoring that resolution was presented to PeaceBuilders from El Toyon Elementary in National City, CA on the Assembly floor.

Nearly 30 percent of boys and girls in seventh grade reported they had been afraid of being beaten up at school once or more in 2008. In a recent special issue of the Journal of Early Adolescence, University of California, Los Angeles psychologists found that academic performance was substantially worse for students who were bullied compared to their peers.

PeaceBuilders has been proven to decrease aggressive and violent behavior, reduce suspensions , referrals and disciplinary action. PeaceBuilders increases attendance, improves tests scores and academic achievement by creating a welcome and safe environment where children can focus on learning. Proactive school policies are shown to reduce violence and aggressive behavior while increasing positive, peaceful behavior. Teachers spend less time disciplining their students and can focus on teaching them.

PeaceBuilders is a science based, research validated inclusive school-climate program that creates peaceful learning environments. Founded in 1992 the program has been implemented in thousands of schools nationwide. The PeaceBuilders goal is simple, yet momentous – to ensure all schools will become peaceful learning environments where everyone learns, acquires and practices the skills to ensure positive and respectful behaviors in order for all students to achieve academic, as well as personal and interpersonal success. For more information on PeaceBuilders and PeacePartners, please visit www.peacebuilders.com.


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