Lawmakers Debate Anti-Bullying Bill
DENVER (CBS4)- State lawmakers are going after school bullies. A proposed bill would require school districts to do more to track and prevent bullying.
Rep. Sue Schafer, D-Jefferson County, said it’s time the state weighed in on bullying in schools.
“We do not have incidents like you have heard about nationally,” said Schafer.
She has introduced a bill that asks all school districts in Colorado to develop or update bullying policies, track reports of bullying and identify and protect the most vulnerable kids.
The bill also encourages teacher training on bullying, school-wide surveys on safety and dress codes.
Jefferson County Schools are being proactive. The district launched a district-wide campaign this year to promote the Safe2Tell hotline that students can call or text anonymously.
“We take every call seriously and its opportunity to change a culture,” said Director of Security for Jefferson County Schools John McDonald.
“Especially in high school, girls can be timid. I’d much rather type it than say it to your face,” said Chatfield High School student Elie Roberts.
“Someone puts one thing out there and it’s out there for everyone to see,” said Chatfield High School student Karina Hill.
Some students believe the legislation will help.
“They need to find a way to stop bullying, which I know is a hard thing to do, but they need to try their hardest,” said Chatfield High School student Lora Roberts.
The bill initially called for funding bully-prevention programs and training. That was scaled back in light of inevitable cuts to education.
Now the measure makes strong suggestions that the schools adopt training and education programs, but doesn’t mandate them.
The bill has bipartisan support. It will be heard in committee on Monday, Feb. 28.