By Lisa Singleton-Rickman
Excerpt from Lawrence Times-Daily
Lawrence, Alabama — Alabama is among the most recent of 44 states to pass an anti-bullying law, which will go into effect Oct. 1.
Until now, there haven’t been any legal repercussions from bullying and it’s an issue the state has long needed to address, said longtime educator Lisa Moses, of Florence, who said bullying is one area addressed in another new piece of legislation known as Taylor’s Law. Under that law, a student’s behavior at school, including bullying, can delay the student from acquiring a driver’s license.
“Bullying has too long been ignored on the school level and has somewhat been accepted with a ‘boys will be boys’ attitude,” Moses said. “Kids need to be able to report these things anonymously, but they don’t trust that it will be kept quiet and they’re scared.”
Moses said schools have a duty to see that bullies get the help they need to change their behavior.
“Research shows that bullies have a much higher risk of having a criminal record,” she said. “We’re just as responsible for helping those kids.” Full story.
Partial text of the Alabama bullying law:
Called the Student Harassment Prevention Act, which goes into effect Oct. 1, the Alabama law requires the adoption of policies in public school systems to prevent the harassment of students.
The act applies only to student-against-student harassment, intimidation, violence and threats of violence in public schools. Each local board of education will adopt procedural policies, and districts will have until July 1 to establish a policy.
It is also the intent of the law that filing a complaint of harassment be in writing and submitted by the affected student or the parent or guardian of the affected student and not by an education employee on behalf of an affected student. The law applies to pre-K to 12th grade.