House Bill 482 encourages school districts, city and borough offices of education, law enforcement agencies, and youth-serving agencies to develop and implement interagency strategies. Some of the possible programs may include in-service training programs and other activities to improve school attendance and reduce school crime and violence. will reduce vandalism, drug and alcohol abuse, gang membership, gang violence, hate crimes, bullying, teen relationship violence, and discrimination and all harassment, including sexual harassment, in grades K-12.
Recent research studies suggest bullying has a negative effect on the social environment of schools. Bullying creates a climate of fear among students, inhibits their ability to learn, and leads to other anti-social behavior, such as vandalism, shoplifting, skipping and dropping out of school, fighting, and the use of drugs and alcohol. Sixty percent (60%) of the males studies who were bullies in grades six through nine were convicted of at least one crime as an adult. Thirty-five (35) to forty percent (40%) of these former bullies had three or more convictions by 24 years of age. Successful programs to recognize, prevent, and effectively intervene in bullying behavior have improved safety and create a more inclusive learning environment.
Currently, 24 states have an anti-bullying law: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. Also, 17 other states have anti-bullying laws pending: Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Seven states have no record of proposing an anti-bullying law, and one state, New York, continues to struggle with passage of the bill.
Our children deserve to learn without fear in a safe school environment.
I ask for your support with HB 482.
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