Massachusetts to Debate Anti-Bullying Legislation
Susan Marie Kovalinsky | March 6, 2010 at 05:46 pmby
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A bill scheduled to be debated before the Massachusetts State Senate if passed into law will require the state's schools to take a tougher stance on bullying.
Under the proposed bill, bullying would be prohibited in schools, with the legislation extending this to include emails, texts, and Internet postings or so-called "Cyber bullying".
PDF: Text Of Anti-Bullying Bill
The proposed legislation would require school administrators to publish an anti-bullying policy and design and attendant anti-bullying curriculum for students.
Adults working in a school setting would be required by law to report bullying incidents; furthermore, principals would have to investigate and take disciplinary action if they determine bullying incidents had occurred.
Rep. Marty Walz, the bill's author, said the legislation's goal is to create learning environments where students know they can't harass one another. A key to that is convincing teachers, staff and other school workers to send the message that bullying won't be tolerated. "If we do this right, there should be a dramatic decrease in the amount of bullying in our schools," Walz said. "Schools have to take action to try to prevent it, and when (bullying) happens, take action so things don't spiral out of control."
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