On A 30-1 Vote, State Senate Passes Bullying Bill

AUSTIN (AP) – The Senate has passed a bill that would allow Texas schools to prohibit bullying, both in person and online.

Houston state Sen. John Whitmire’s bill requires schools to develop a policy to prohibit, prevent and punish students who bully others. The bill passed on a 30-1 vote.

The proposed law defines bullying as any effort to harass or intimidate a student in person or using the Internet.

The bill follows recent high-profile cases where public school children committed suicide after being bullied.

Schools would also have to explain to students what is considered bullying and possible punishments, if the bill becomes law.

The Senate bill will now go to the House for consideration.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. CanadianTexan says:

    Who voted against it? As the mother of a bullied child, I’d like to write a letter to the rep who voted against and give them a glimpse into the heart ache and pain a mom has to bear when their child is bullied.

    1. Laurey says:

      Flower Mound Senator Jane Nelson (R) (former teacher) She claims she knew exactly what she was voting on. Said it was a local, not state issue. Lady, it’s a NATIONAL issue, not a local one!

  2. logo65 says:

    I sure they also passed funding to support the enforcement of this bill? Right?

  3. RussP says:

    In most of the bullying suicide cases I’ve read, they seem to involve Facebook, texting, YouTube, etc. Maybe it’s time for parents to “unplug” their kids. In the past, those being bullied either fought back or just dealt with it; the technology addiction of today’s kids seems to be the change.

  4. ilvrw says:

    This reminds me of the “Safe Schools Act”. It had alot of punch, but there wasn’t a school in Texas that followed it or knew how it was suppose to work. It scares me when they say the schools will be required to develope a policy. Now we will have over 150,000 different versions as each district will make it’s own. YIKES!!!

  5. Tom says:

    This law is not very well thought out! Laws already exist to charge many of the bullies, if authoritiues just had the fortitude to do so! Does the Senate really believe that the schools can enforce such a law?
    Bullying is a problem that is not easily addressed by a new law, but through civil lawsuits against officials and coporate entities that do not work to enforce laws that are already on the books! School districts neeed to have the right attitude about all of this, but parents need to prepare their children for bullying and how to properly react to it. Most of all to remind those that are bullied that they are not to blame! The bullies and their parents can also be sued in civil courts for allowing this to continue, once they’ve been informed, and for any costs associated with the bullying (for those bullied.) Get in their pockets and they’ll do something about it! Get in the school officials and district’s pockets and they will do the right thing, too! Don’t expect the government to solve all of our problems!

  6. FedUpTxn says:

    Teachers are also REQUIRED by law to report suspected child abuse, or when a child tells them of abuse. What happens when they don’t? NOTHING! More “feel good” laws made to get votes and nothing more.

  7. darrell says:

    i agree something needs to be done to curtail bullying. but parts of this law as shown above are ill defined, make schools liable for student actions they may not be able to control, and will eat up time and money for teachers and administrators trying to enforce.

    how can you expect schools to police the internet? does it only apply on campus or at sponsored events? what about a football games open to the public? what about texting with cell/smart phones? and lets not forget the constitutional challenge.

    if you enact this, as a school administrator the first thing i do is ban all cell/smart phones on school campus and at sponsored events by students. solves half and the most widespread issue with bullying. but that wont work. parents and students will throw a lay on the floor kicking and screaming fit that its so unfair, or in case of an emergency, or whatever. everyone wants schools to deal with it, but the people who need it and want it most are going to make it impossible to do.

    PLAN B: the punishment then needs to be bad enough to prevent bullying, not a slap on the hand if your caught.

    first offense: one week expulsion, no make up work or retesting allowed
    second offense: same as first offense plus suspension for extra curricular activites for 6 calendar weeks.
    thirs offense: expulsion for remainder of school year. no finals, if your a senior, you dont graduate, barred from all school sponsored activities on and off campus during expulsion period.

    darn now the parents cry: but that will kill Jimmies football scholarship, or your being racist against my child, whatever.

    this bill will not work. this is a problem that gets solved by parents taking responsibility for the actions of their children every day and being a parent. that will fix the bullying problem.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE