AUSTIN (December 7, 2010)—A list of proposals to define bullying in schools is one of the issues that state legislators can expect to deal with in Austin during the upcoming legislative session.
At least seven bills on the subject already have been pre-filed for consideration in the session and they deal with issues students face both on campus and online.
The next legislative sessions opens on January 11.
Legislators have until March 11 to file bills on any issue.
Current Texas law says schools must prohibit bullying in their
student codes of conduct but there is little discussion of how to do that and really no definition of what bullying is.
Educators say a little more direction could help and critics say more needs to be done.
Chuck Smith with Equality Texas, which focuses on gay, lesbian
and trans-gender issues, says his group is pursuing anti-bullying
measures as a child welfare issue.
Two bills would require districts to report annually how many
bullying incidents they faced, including how many were based on
race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.