With incidents of bullying at schools and on school buses popping up on the news daily, some states are starting to take action. Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm urged the state legislature in March to put into place a policy that would protect Michigan children from harassment or bullying at school. Read the Governor’s news release here.
Just yesterday the Detroit Examiner reported that two boys in Michigan were charged with assalt for the May 12 beating of 10-year-old Chester Gala as he rode the school bus. The entire incident was caught on the bus’s surveillance cameras.
According to the Governor’s release,
“Intimidation and fear have no place in our schools,” said Granholm. “To give our kids the world class education they need, we need to make sure all schools are safe.”
Research in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that one out of every three students in grades 6 through 10 have been involved in a bullying incident. While some school districts in Michigan have established strong anti-bullying policies to address the issue, these bills will ensure that policies are in place in every school across the state.
The new tough, effective, anti-bullying policies will include teacher training programs, procedures for reporting acts of bullying, procedures for response when acts of bullying are identified, age-appropriate consequences for persons who violate the policies, and procedures for prompt investigation of reports of violations and complaints.
Other states considering anti-bullying legislation include Alaska, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wyoming. Nearly 20 other states have passed anti-bullying legislation.