MBA co-sponsors New England Conference on Bullying

Issue December 2013

The Massachusetts Bar Association co-sponsored the 2013 New England Conference on Bullying at Lesley University. The full-day conference highlighted current methods for recognizing both civil and educational rights in school systems.

The conference provided New England educators and school attorneys ways to foster safe, equitable and inclusive school climates. Conference panelists identified practical systems and strategies to help schools successfully combat bullying and discriminatory harassment, including sexual harassment.

"The sessions focused on understanding the differences between bullying and harassment, and how to effectively implement proper policies and workable procedures in schools," said Molly A. Gosline, the founder and owner of School Climate Consulting, who organizes the annual conference.

The MBA's Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section Vice Chair Richard W. Cole presented three of the conference's four sessions. He offered an overview of key "legally protective" practices for schools to prevent civil liability and governmental enforcement actions over violations of federal and state civil rights laws, as well as bullying laws.