Monday, November 8, 2010

HB 170: the 300 Foot Bully Leash

HB 170 by Rep. Richard Raymond would allow school administrators to place students who engage in verbal, written or physical behavior that is designed to distress another student, is distressing to another student, or would be distressing to most people, into an alternative school if the behavior took place on school property, within 300 feet of school property, on a school bus, at a school bus stop, or at a school-sponsored event.

This is such a basic, simple, obvious response to bullying it is shocking that it is not already an option.

The only thing in this bill that is likely to draw opposition is the 300 foot provision. The ACLU of Texas testified against anti-bullying legislation last year because of their concern that allowing school administrators to address off-campus bullying would impinge on the the free speech rights of bullies. It will be interesting to see if the paltry 300 foot "safe" zone this bill creates will raise their ire or not.

This bill should already be law. If it, or some version of it, does not pass the members of the 82nd Texas legislature have failed the people of Texas.

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