Sample letter for a Minister of Education or school board member:
I am concerned that for many children, violence is a regular part of their school experience. A recent report from Human Rights Watch documented sexual violence against South African schoolgirls by their teachers and classmates, harassment and physical attacks against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students in the United States, and frequent and brutal use of corporal punishment in schools in Kenya. In many other parts of the world, violence in schools undermine children's opportunities to learn, cause children to drop out of school altogether, or cause psychological trauma, physical injury, and in some situations, even death.
Every child deserves to be treated with respect and to be protected from violations of his or her basic human rights. All youth have the right to be free from discrimination, harassment, and violence in their schools.
I urge you to help ensure that schools in our country (or district) are safe places for all children. Specifically, school policies should ensure:
- that corporal punishment, sexual violence, and harassment or discrimination on the basis of their gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, caste, sexual orientation or other status are explicitly prohibited;
- that all teachers receive training in nonviolent methods of classroom discipline; issues related to violence, including sexual violence, and discrimination; and working with students of diverse backgrounds;
- that all students and teachers understand and abide by policies prohibiting violence and discrimination;
- that all incidents of violence or harassment are promptly and thoroughly investigated, and that appropriate measures are taken against those responsible.
Thank you for helping to create a safe learning environment for all children in our schools.