Skip to main content

Adopted February 20, 2014


As part of its mission, the DC Public Library provides environments that invite reading, learning and community discussion and equips people to learn all their lives, to embrace diversity and to build a thriving city. This policy applies to the public use of the DC Public Library, and is in compliance with the Youth Bullying Act of 2012. Any personnel related issues are managed through the DCPL Human Resources/Personnel Investigations. Acts of bullying, harassment and intimidation, or retaliation, disrupt this environment and are not permitted. The Library’s Rules of Behavior, which serves as DCPL’s expected code of conduct, will be used to determine consequences and consideration will be given to the nature of the incident and the age of the youth.

Bullying is any severe, pervasive, or persistent act or conduct whether physical, electronic, or verbal that:

  • May be based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal or physical appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, intellectual ability, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, disability, source of income, status as a victim of an intrafamily offense, place of residence or business or any other distinguishing characteristic, or on a youth’s association with a person, or group with any person, with one or more of the actual or perceived foregoing characteristics; and
  • Can reasonably be predicted to result in either a reasonable fear of physical harm to their person or property, cause a substantial detrimental effect on the person’s physical, emotional or mental health, or interfere with the person’s ability to use the Library’s facilities or services.

Retaliation against a youth, volunteer or staff member who reports bullying, provides information about an act of bullying, or witnesses an act of bullying is also prohibited.

DCPL will work to prevent bullying by ensuring that all personnel whose duties consistently bring them into contact with youth by design or incident, including all members of the DCPL Office of Public Safety, are trained on the District’s prevention approach, as well as the procedures for responding to and reporting an incident of bullying. Incidents of bullying, including those reported anonymously, will be reported on the Library’s Office of Public Safety incident report form. The Office of Public Safety will be responsible for the investigation. This investigation shall be concluded within fifteen (15) calendar days. Subsequently, copies of the investigative reports will be forwarded to the Library’s Anti-Bullying officer. The Anti-Bullying Officer will continue to track and monitor bullying across the Library’s 26 locations.

Sanctions for those found to be engaging in bullying behavior will be in accordance with those laid forth in the Library’s Rules of Behavior. All parties dissatisfied by the outcome of the initial bullying investigation conducted pursuant to §4(b)(7) may request a secondary investigation by submitting a written appeal to the higher-level authority in the agency or grantee designated to hear appeals within 30 days of the conclusion of the initial investigation. Upon receipt of an appeal, a secondary investigation will be concluded within 30 days of the receipt unless circumstances justify the need for additional time, not to exceed 15 days and the higher-level authority or grantee completes such justification in writing. Additionally, DCPL will inform the party making the appeal of their ability to seek additional redress under the DC Human Rights Act and that this section shall not be construed to limit the right of a person to assert or seek redress for a claim arising under the Human Rights Act. Reports of bullying may be made anonymously, but action will not be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

This policy applies to participants on the properties of all 26 Library locations and at functions sponsored by DCPL and to any vehicle used for DCPL business, or through the use of any electronic devices owned by DCPL or 2 used for DCPL business. It also applies to the use of any electronic devices used on DCPL property, including those not owned or leased by DCPL, if the acts of bullying create a hostile environment at DCPL for the victim or witnesses, infringe on their rights at DCPL, or materially and substantially disrupt the orderly operation of DCPL.