|Jun 20, 2012|
More states examine bullying laws
Improving anti-bullying solutions on a statewide basis has been the focus of recent legislative and administrative discussions across the nation, with New York and Illinois as two of the newest states to join the talks. New York recently passed a bill designed to help schools train staff on how to handle bullying activities, as well as deploy a mandatory reporting system in each school.
According to the Sag Harbor Express, the new bill in New York was sponsored by Assemblyman Fred Thiele, and was designated to expand upon the existing Dignity for All Students Act. While providing for the training of school staff, it also will require personnel to report any bullying or cyberbullying incidents to school administration within one school day of the event, as well as to turn in a written report within three days. It also provides guidelines for students and their parents to submit reports, requiring officials to investigate every report.
"In today’s age of 24-hour connectivity and social networking, there is no escape for students who are subjected to cyberbullying," said Thiele, according to the news source. "These new guidelines for combating cyberbullying will ensure a safe and secure learning environment for all our students both in and out of school. This legislation is a major step in the Assembly’s ongoing efforts to improve education and promote a safe and secure learning environment. No child should have to fear continued harassment and embarrassment from cyberbullying. This legislation ensures parents, students and staff all have the tools they need to combat this serious issue."
In Illinois, a gathering of over 70 school administrators, staff and students from Rockford College recently gathered to hear a talk given by author and bullying expert Rosalind Wiseman, according to the Rockford Register Star. Sponsored by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents, the event was designed to generate discussion on bullying in the state, and educate officials on how to handle bullying in schools.
Administrators looking to improve anti-bullying solutions and make it easier for students to report a bully can also invest in communication systems like uTip, the Bully Buster. uTip provides a reliable, efficient and anonymous way for students to report a bully to school officials from their own cellphones.