Houma lawmaker wants anti-bullying rules


By Jeremy Alford
Houtmatoday.com
At the urging of a Terrebonne Parish legislator, the Senate Education Committee advanced a study program Thursday that could peel back the complex layers of how harassment and intimidation affect Louisiana’s schoolchildren.

Rep. Damon Baldone, D-Houma, said it’s a sensible approach to a growing challenge for teachers, parents and students.

He said he filed a resolution, which does not carry the weight of law, instead of a bill because legislation that would have cracked down on playground bullies failed to gain traction during last year’s regular session. Additionally, the resolution will allow officials to look into the issue in coming months.

“After that, I could end up introducing an actual bill in 2010,” Baldone said.

As it makes its way to a final hearing by the full Senate, Baldone’s House Concurrent Resolution 149 requests each public school in the state to develop an anti-bullying program that includes training for school employees about addressing aggressive student behavior. The measure also calls for schools or school districts to form task forces that consist of parents, students, counselors and school personnel.

“Bullying is a real problem,” Baldone said. “I saw it firsthand when I was in the education system. It can impact children on so many levels. Full story.

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