Report 2012-108 Recommendation 21 Responses

Report 2012-108: School Safety and Nondiscrimination Laws: Most Local Educational Agencies Do Not Evaluate the Effectiveness of Their Programs, and the State Should Exercise Stronger Leadership (Release Date: August 2013)

Recommendation #21 To: Education, Department of

To provide stronger leadership with respect to school safety and nondiscrimination laws, Education, with direction from the superintendent of public instruction, should within the next six months and annually thereafter, update and replace the resources on its Web site to provide more relevant information on best practices, such as preventing and responding to incidents related to a protected characteristic or that occur through cyberbullying, the U.S. DOE report on state bullying legislation, and best practices in other states, such as the Massachusetts law on LEA staff training requirements.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

Education, with direction from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI), annually updates and replaces resources on its Web site to provide best practices. Education updated bullying prevention Web site resources to include a link to the Massachusetts Model Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan, participated in community-law enforcement training on Bridging the Racial Divide that focused on discrimination, harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, and racially motivated trends and events, has committed to sponsor two statewide workshops in the 2017-18 school year on School Behavioral Threat Assessments, which includes important federal guidance on school emergency management planning and will be presented by the USDE, Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center, is continuing to convene the SSPI School and Community Safety Advisory Committee, presented a workshop at the 2017 Alliance for Boys and Men of Color Policy Summit, focusing on Education's programs and activities related to improving school climate, reducing bullying, harassment, and hate crimes, presented a pre-conference session at the 8th Annual School Safety Conference with the SSPI, the Director of the USDE, Office of Safe and Healthy Students, and school safety experts, on emergency preparedness, school climate, and school safety planning with federal, state, and local resources and components, provided technical assistance to parents, families, LEAs, and governmental agencies, is developing guidance on model procedures for approving and monitoring school safety plans, is developing guidance on building disaster plans, received approval to include school safety plans in the 2018-19 audit guide, is collaborating with the California District Attorneys' Association to increase compliance with reporting of child abuse and neglect; and endorsed and supported an educator-law enforcement partnership trauma-informed program titled, Focusing on Children Under Stress.

  • Completion Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Pending

Education's response lists activities that it plans to implement in the future. As a result, we look forward to reviewing Education's next response and verifying that it has completed those activities.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2016

Fully implemented. To provide stronger leadership with respect to school safety and nondiscrimination laws, Education has conducted a myriad of school safety and nondiscrimination efforts in regard to the CSA's recommendation, as further delineated in Education's written one-year corrective action update.

In addition, Education: (1) is developing bullying and cyberbullying technical assistance materials with research-based strategies and interventions, with input from state and national experts; (2) updated and is in the process of posting the Comprehensive School Safety Plan Self-Monitoring tool to include both bullying and cyberbullying as a requirement in school safety policies; and (3) is developing a plan and process for identifying model comprehensive school safety plans to be shared with LEAs at the 8th Annual Safe Schools Conference.

  • Completion Date: October 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Partially Implemented

Although Education has provided some additional resources to LEAs, it has yet to update its website with relevant information on best practices such as preventing and responding to incidents related to a protected characteristic or that occur through cyberbullying. Further, as noted in Education's response, some of its actions are still in progress. Therefore, we have assessed this recommendation as partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

To provide stronger leadership with respect to school safety and nondiscrimination laws, Education has: (1) maintained the School Community Violence Prevention Training Grant Regional Safety Coordinator system; (2) provided training in safe school planning and bullying/cyberbullying prevention; (3) reviewed training materials to maintain quality and consistency of quarterly training; (4) presented bullying and cyberbullying breakout sessions at the California Parent Teacher Association Conference and the 6th Annual Safe Schools Conference; (5) provided technical assistance to parents and local educational agencies; (6) created guidance on Assembly Bill 1266, regarding transgender youth and equal access to facilities and programs; and (7) participated in the Legislative Women's Caucus Task Force on sexting.

In addition, Education is in the process of updating and replacing the resources on the Web site to provide more relevant information on best practices.

  • Completion Date: August 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Partially Implemented

Although Education has provided some additional resources to LEAs, it has yet to update its website with relevant information on best practices such as preventing and responding to incidents related to a protected characteristic or that occur through cyberbullying. Therefore, we have assessed this recommendation as partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

1. Education staff virtually attended the 2014 Federal Bullying Prevention Summit, "Keeping Kids Safe: Opportunities and Challenges in Bullying Prevention," held August 15, 2014. Twenty-two speakers presented on topics ranging from the state of current bullying prevention research, multi-tiered behavioral frameworks, cyberbullying, and school discipline.

As a result of this training, Education is adding resources from the Bullying and Hate Motivated Behavior Web site that were shared at the 2014 Federal Bullying Prevention Summit to Education's Web site. Resources include:

- Educator's Guide

- 2000 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on Disability Harassment

- 2010 DCL on Harassment and Bullying

- 2013 DCL on Bullying of Students with Disabilities

- A Parent's Guide to Cyberbullying

- Campus Pride Fact Sheet

- Campus Pride Index Fact-Sheet

- Community Action Toolkit

- Educators and Community Leaders' Guide

- Facebook Resources for Teachers 2014

- Hazing in View High School Report

- Know Bullying App Postcard

- National College Fair-Program Fact-Sheet

- OSERS Dear Colleague Letter Bullying-8-20-13

- StopBullying.gov Infographic

- StopBullying.gov Training Module

- Supportive School Discipline Initiative Information Sheet

- SBSU videos for Federal Conference

2. Education is adding the following links to Speaker Presentations from the Federal Bullying Prevention Summit onto our Web site:

- Laws and Policies: Sarah Allen PowerPoint

- Media Guidelines: Media Guidelines PowerPoint

- Related High-Risk Behaviors: Darlene Johnson PowerPoint; Elizabeth Allan PowerPoint

3. Education is providing the link to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) new App, "Know Bullying," revealed at the 2014 Federal Bullying Prevention Summit.

4. Education staff presented a workshop at the 5th Annual Safe Schools Conference, "Bullying 101," July 31, 2014.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

1. Education staff virtually attended the 2014 Federal Bullying Prevention Summit, "Keeping Kids Safe: Opportunities and Challenges in Bullying Prevention," held August 15, 2014. Twenty-two speakers presented on topics ranging from the state of current bullying prevention research,

multi-tiered behavioral frameworks, cyberbullying, and school discipline.

As a result of this training, Education is adding resources from the Bullying and Hate Motivated Behavior Web site that were shared at the 2014 Federal Bullying Prevention Summit to Education's Web site. Resources include:

- Educator's Guide

- 2000 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on Disability Harassment

- 2010 DCL on Harassment and Bullying

- 2013 DCL on Bullying of Students with Disabilities

- A Parent's Guide to Cyberbullying

- Campus Pride Fact Sheet

- Campus Pride Index Fact-Sheet

- Community Action Toolkit

- Educators and Community Leaders' Guide

- Facebook Resources for Teachers 2014

- Hazing in View High School Report

- Know Bullying App Postcard

- National College Fair-Program Fact-Sheet

- OSERS Dear Colleague Letter Bullying-8-20-13

- StopBullying.gov Infographic

- StopBullying.gov Training Module

- Supportive School Discipline Initiative Information Sheet

- SBSU videos for Federal Conference

2. Education is adding the following links to Speaker Presentations from the Federal Bullying Prevention Summit onto our Web site:

- Laws and Policies: Sarah Allen PowerPoint

- Media Guidelines: Media Guidelines PowerPoint

- Related High-Risk Behaviors: Darlene Johnson PowerPoint; Elizabeth Allan PowerPoint

3. Education is providing the link to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) new App, "Know Bullying," revealed at the 2014 Federal Bullying Prevention Summit.

4. Education staff presented a workshop at the 5th Annual Safe Schools Conference, "Bullying 101," July 31, 2014.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending


6-Month Agency Response

Education updated Web site resources and encouraged the sharing of best practices as follows:

1. Education revised documents posted on the Safe School Planning Web site to include references to mental health as a crucial component to creating a safe learning environment, free of bullying and cyber bullying.

2. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction issued a press release calling attention to the revised Safe School Plan documents (Enclosure 1).

3. Education conducted a Safe and Supportive Schools conference with bullying and cyber bullying prevention breakout sessions on November 19-20, 2013. Best practices were shared amongst conference attendees.

4. Education provided training materials to the California School for the Deaf in Riverside on the topics of bullying, cyber bullying, and sexting.

5. Education staff are members of the Cyber Bullying Task Force convened by the Legislative Womens Caucus, under the direction of Vice-Chair Senator Hannah Beth Jackson.

  • Completion Date: March 2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken

The actions taken by Education do not address the specific concern of our recommendations to "update and replace the resources on its Web site to provide more relevant information on best practices, such as preventing and responding to incidents related to a protected characteristic or that occur through cyberbullying." Education's updates to the Web site appear to be no more than a typical annual update of Web resources. To address our recommendation, Education needs to improve its leadership over school safety issues by making available more complete and robust resources to schools, rather than simply updating several links on its Web site.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

1. Education is in the process of revising the resources listed on its "Bullying and Hate Motivated Behavior" Web pages and is seeking input from:

- San Diego County Office of Education

- Sacramento City and West Sacramento Unified School Districts

- School Community Violence Prevention Regional Safety Coordinators

- Dr. Justin Patchin, nationally recognized expert on cyberbullying and teens

- B.R.A.V.E. Society (Bullies Really Are Violating Everyone), a local nonprofit

2. On September 20, 2013, Education updated its Equal Opportunity & Access Web page to include information and resources available over gender equity through the requirements enacted in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

3. Education continues to work with the School Community Violence Prevention Training Grant's Regional School Safety Coordinators to provide statewide training in the areas of bullying/cyberbullying, safe school planning, crisis response, threat assessment and suicide prevention, classroom management, and legal strategies for information sharing. The 2013-14 schedule of trainings is posted on Education's Violence Prevention Web site at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/vp/scvptraining.asp.

Additionally, Education and the California Resource Officers Association are co-sponsoring a conference on October 27-29, 2013: Bullying: Issues and Strategies. Education will moderate a panel discussion on cyberbullying and present two workshop sessions on bullying legislation and resources. Attendees include school, district, and county administrators, counselors, teachers, parents, practitioners, and students. (A copy of conference flyer is enclosed.)

  • Estimated Completion Date: 2013-14
  • Response Date: November 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


All Recommendations in 2012-108

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.


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