Main | Friday, April 30, 2010

UNANIMOUS VOTES: Anti-Bullying Bills Pass In Massachusetts And Georgia

Anti-bullying bills passed yesterday in both Massachusetts and Georgia! Both bills passed unanimously.

Invoking the suicides of Phoebe Prince and Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, lawmakers unanimously approved a sweeping measure to crack down on school bullying, saying its strict requirements for reporting student harassment make it one of the nation’s toughest. Yesterday’s legislation emerged with broad prohibitions against any actions that could cause emotional or physical harm, including text messages and taunting over the Internet. It also mandates antibullying training, for faculty as well as students, and requires that parents be informed of incidents at school.
The Georgia Senate voted 44-0 tonight to approve an anti-bullying measure that was backed by LGBT political group Georgia Equality. Senate Bill 250 squeaked in under the wire to receive a vote in the hectic final hours of the annual 40-day state legislative session. The measure's anti-bullying provisions originated in the state House, and appeared destined for failure this session until Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta) was able to maneuver to have them added as an amendment to the Senate legislation. SB 250, sponsored by state Sen. Bill Hamrick (R-Carrollton), was approved in the Senate last March and originally dealt only with “unlawful disruption of or interference with the operation of public schools or public school buses.”
Both state's bills are expected to be signed into law by their governors.

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