State of the Safe Schools Act
Second Annual State of the Safe Schools Act
In 2009, the Oregon Legislature passed the Oregon Safe Schools Act – a critical piece of legislation to address bullying and harassment in schools. As a follow-up to this legislation, in the fall of 2011, the Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition (OSSCC) reached out to every Oregon school district to assist in fully implementing the 2009 Oregon Safe Schools Act. The goal of this outreach effort was to ensure ALL students in Oregon feel safe at school and are protected from bullying and harassment.
Via letter, phone call, and email correspondence, OSSCC invited each school district to become a member of OSSCC as a “champion” for safer schools. Districts were asked to send a copy of their safe schools/anti-bullying policy to OSSCC. The districts that replied have been awarded honorary memberships to the OSSCC.
OSSCC volunteers conducted a six month online research project to obtain additional copies of school district policies. The full inventory of these policies were then reviewed by OGALLA: The LGBT Bar Association of Oregon. OGALLA formed a sub-committee to evaluate the policies using a checklist of requirements contained in the current statute. Districts that met requirements were deemed fully compliant.
The results of that first Safe Schools Report, as well as the follow-up Report can be viewed here:
OGALLA is willing to provide feedback to any district that wishes to find out more about the rankings. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This report is the first in a series of annual reports created with leadership from the Oregon Gay and Lesbian Legal Association (OGALLA) to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the laws designed to keep kids safe in Oregon’s schools. This effort constitutes an attainable and modest first step, considering questions about curriculum, training and peer education, which we have learned are critically important to achieving our mission. Nevertheless, we hope it will be a positive first step to help further our vision of schools where students are able to attend class and learn free of fear caused by bullying and harassment, regardless of whether they are gay or transgender.