Anti-Bullying Legislation Will Become Law
Austin, TX — Today, thanks to the courageous efforts by Texas parents whose children have suffered from bullying, members of the Senate passed House Bill 1942, a bill requiring schools to adopt anti-bullying policies. This bipartisan effort in the House and Senate was passed in light of recent tragedies related to bullying in Texas and across our country.
Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio), along with Representative Diane Patrick (R-Arlington) passed a bill that ensures the safety of our children with regard to bullying in our neighborhood schools.
The new law does the following:
- Establishes a new bullying definition that includes bullying through electronic means;
- Integrates awareness, prevention, identification, and resolution of and intervention in bullying and harassment into the health curriculum;
- Provides local school boards with discretion to transfer a student found to have bullied to another classroom or to another campus within the district in consultation with the parent or guardian; and
- Requires local school districts to adopt and implement a bullying policy that recognizes minimum guidelines such as a prohibition on bullying, providing counseling options, and establishes procedures for reporting an incidence of bullying.
Senator Van de Putte stated, "Texas could no longer ignore this problem. It was imperative that our state take action and implement the appropriate steps to prevent further unnecessary bullying that unfortunately occurs in our public schools." She added, "Our school children deserve to feel safe."
Representative Patrick, the author of House Bill 1942 agreed, "Parents and children deserve to know they are within safe walls while receiving an education. The House is pleased the Senate unanimously agreed in passing House Bill 1942 today and we look forward to it becoming law." She added, "I am especially grateful for the work that Representative Mark Strama (D-Austin) and other House Public Education members contributed to lead this bill to fruition."
"I am thankful to members of the Senate, including Dean John Whitmire (D-Houston), Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), and Senator Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) who played an integral part in the passage of this bill," noted Senator Van de Putte.