Do We Need An Anti-Bullying Law
Every year you get a big story pop up in the news and the issue gets fueled by the news cycle. Politicians take notice, and decide that they must do something about it or else. They did it with steroids in sports and only wasted a lot of money and now it looks like bullying is the new hot topic.
HB 1942, the anti-bullying legislation, passed the Senate yesterday and now heads to the Texas House for consideration of changes that the Senate made. According to multiple reports, the House will surely pass the bill and it will head to the Governor for his signature. HB 1942 would do a few things. First, schools would be required to develop specific bullying policies. Schools would also be able to transfer the bully out of the school or classroom. Currently it's the kid that gets picked on that has to leave. Schools would also have to report on acts of bullying.
The question I have is, do we really need this? We already have rules and laws in place that prevent intimidation, harassment, and physical abuse. Why can't we just use the laws we already have on the books? This law could also extend to social networking websites like Facebook. If a student is being a bully on Facebook after school hours, the district could get involved. In the past, parents have been the ones to police their kids after school hours, should that change?
As we discussed on the show today, I personally don't think we need a new anti-bully law. We already have laws and rules that cover all of this. Instead, we need to bring punishment back to the schools. We need parents to be okay with punishing their own kids and instilling good values into their own kids. I know, that's a lot to ask for but it needs to be done. In this bill, lawmakers are saying they want the schools to punish kids but at the same time lawmakers are trying to outlaw swats. What kind of message does that really send?
I know bullying is more high tech and much different from when I was in school. I get that and understand it. However, we have seen in the past that passing new laws to cover things that are already covered by a previous law never doesn't help the situation. Instead of passing new laws, let's try enforcing what we already have.