Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Massachusetts Legislature Approves Anti-Bullying Legislation

Last week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously approved an anti-bullying bill in an effort to "secure our students from bullying, both during the school day and after school hours." The Senate previously approved the measure. According to an article in the Boston Globe, Governor Patrick has indicated that he will sign the bill after it has been reconciled in committee between the House and Senate. Also from the article, in the House's version of the bill, bullying is defined as "the repeated use by a perpetrator of a written, verbal, or electronic expression, or physical act or gesture...directed at a victim that causes physical or emotional harm or damage to the victim's property; places the victim in reasonable fear or harm to himself or of damage to his property; [or] creates a hostile environment at school."

The legislation requires school officials to report bullying to the school principal and that the principal must contact law enforcement if it is determined that the incident is a criminal act. The bill also includes funding for training school officials and teachers on how to identify and respond to bullying. You can also read about the legislation from an article in the Boston Herald.

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