Thursday, January 31, 2008

"Golden Rule Act" Anti Bullying Bill Passes

It's not often that legislators in both parties agree. Even more rare is a bill with a unanimous outcome. But that is exactly what happen this week when Kentucky legislators voted on anti-bullying legislation.

The bill would prohibit bullying and harassment among students in Kentucky's public schools and require school districts to put procedures in place to handle reports of such behavior. The bill passed the House today by a vote of 96-0.

House Bill 91 or "The Golden Rule Act", sponsored by Rep. Mike Cherry, D-Princeton, now goes to the Senate for its consideration. It is the fourth anti-bullying measure that Cherry has tried to pass into law in recent years.

The prohibition against bullying, harassment and other forms of intimidation--including cyberbullying via the Internet--required by HB 91 would be included in a "code of acceptable behavior" formulated by each district that would be based on the Golden Rule of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Each code would include procedures for handling complaints of bullying and protecting those who make reports from retaliation.

Students who break the code by harassing, bullying, cyberbullying or intimidating other students could face suspension, expulsion or other disciplinary action under the proposal.