DC Office of Human Rights Newsletter | Volume XV | August 2019
It's Back to School Time: Make Sure You're Familiar with Your School's Anti-Bullying Policy
And just like that, we're in the last month of summer. Now that summer is coming to a close it'll soon be back to school time. Picking up school supplies, uniforms, backpacks, as well as learning new bus routes and routines and potentially new schools is part of it. Making sure your child is prepared is vital to them having a successful school year. It's also important for every parent to familiarize themselves with their child's anti-bullying policy. OHR has developed a Know Your Policy page on our website where you can view DC Public School, DC Charter School, and DC Government agency's anti-bullying policies and contacts.

The Citywide Youth Bullying Prevention Program was created in 2013 and aims to reduce incidents of bullying across the District by emphasizing prevention and proper procedures for responding when incidents occur. The program works with youth-serving government agencies, District schools and youth-serving government grantees to ensure bullying prevention policies are adopted and implemented in ways consistent with the best practices adopted by the Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force. 

  • The program discourages an over reliance on discipline and instead adopts a public health approach focused on prevention, supporting at-risk youth and addressing incidents to change behavior.

  • Program staff coordinate high-level trainings, advises stakeholders as they develop curriculum, and evaluates existing initiatives aimed at bullying prevention.

  • The groundbreaking District-wide approach – moving beyond just in-school prevention – makes it one of the most unique and far-reaching government bullying prevention programs in the nation.
Trait of the Month : Family Responsibilities
This protected trait makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on them supporting a person in a dependent relationship, which includes, but is not limited to, children, grandchildren and parents. For more information or to file a complaint, visit our website; ohr.dc.gov .
Upcoming Spotlights
Join MPD for their Beat the Streets event on August 14 from 2:30pm to 8:30pm at Bellevue Library (115 Atlantic Ave SW) . There will be live music, food, family fun, and plenty of resources. Stop by for a good time and stay for the services and programs DC has to offer.

OHR will be hosting our quarterly Human Rights Liaison (HRL) training on September 18 starting at 9:30am at 441 4th St NW . Social services providers participate in a free, daylong training on the discrimination laws OHR enforces, as well as the process on how to identify and file a complaint if your client(s) experience illegal discrimination. If interested please RSVP using the link below.

Highlights from OHR
In case you missed it, we hosted our first Building Bridges Book Club Facebook live discussion alongside the  DC Mayor's Office of Religious Affairs  Director Thomas Bowen ( click here or the photo to view the video). In July, we selected the book Evicted by Matthew Desmond, which chronicles poor Milwaukee families struggling to maintain stable housing. Check out the video and feel free to share your thoughts, reflections and commentary if you have read the book. For August, we invite you to read and discuss Biased by Jennifer L. Eberhardt and then join us for another FB Live chat at the end of the month.

Director's Note
Dear Neighbors, Stakeholders and Partners,

My heart and deepest condolences go out to the families devastated by the tragic and hate-fueled shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. I am heartbroken by the senseless acts of violence targeting immigrant and African American communities in this country. Unfortunately, our national leaders do not take effective action and the political climate continues to allow these thoughts and actions to fester.
OHR has been actively working with both government and community partners on how to better protect the immigrant community from the hateful rhetoric and threats. Mayor Bowser has stated unequivocally that we are a city that welcomes all people and serves all our immigrant families, neighbors and business leaders. With the threats of increased ICE raids and arrests in the recent months, the Mayor has responded by providing grants that will pay for pathways to citizenship. Our partners at the Metropolitan Police Department recently released videos ( click here to view) to remind residents that our local police officers do not enforce federal immigration policies. Also, our District Hate Crime Response tracks reports of potential hate or bias motivated crimes.  Symbols that aim to terrorize people, misleading posters and especially violence towards any of our most vulnerable communities will not be tolerated in the District
We need you to stay informed and engaged. If you see evidence of a hate or bias motivated crime please remember to call 911. Please also remember that here at the Office of Human Rights we enforce the most progressive anti-discrimination laws in the U.S. It is illegal to discriminate based on national origin, race or personal appearance and many more protected identities and traits. If you or someone you know feels like they are being discriminating against, please call 202-727-4559.
Have a wonderful month of August and stay vigilant!
Yours in service,
M ó nica Palacio, OHR Director
DC Office of Human Rights | 202.727.4559 | ohr.dc.gov