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Anti-Bullying Bill Gets Early OK From Senate

After a spate of bullying related suicides in Texas schools, state lawmakers introduced more than 15 bills this session to address the issue. Today, the Senate approved one of them — SB 205 from Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston.

Asher Brown took his own life on Sept. 23, 2010 after bullies at school tormented him. He was 13 years old.

After a spate of bullying related suicides in Texas schools, state lawmakers introduced more than 15 bills this session to address the issue. Today, the Senate approved one of them — SB 205 from Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston. 

The bill passed on second reading with no debate, with only one nay vote — from Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound.

Whitmire said the measure would bring incidents of harassment “out of the shadows." In addition to adding a definition of cyber-bulllying to the statute, SB 205 requires districts to develop specific policies to prevent and investigate aggressive behavior from students. It also includes a provision that holds school district officials accountable for failing to address reports of bullying.

Thirty-seven other states have already passed specific legislation to counter cyber-bullying in schools.

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