The Massachusetts state legislature unanimously yesterday passed a new law “cracking down on bullying,” the Boston Globe reports. “The bill gained momentum after the deaths of the 15-year-old [Phoebe] Prince [of South Hadley] and 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover of Springfield, who allegedly committed suicide after being bullied.” The bill now goes to Gov. Deval Patrick for signing; a spokesperson said he considers “passage of strong anti-bullying legislation ‘a top priority’.” Here’s my earlier post with more details.
Meanwhile, students aren’t the only people who bully. Most schools (if not states) have anti-bullying policies aimed at students, but school districts in Iowa and California are now “developing rules to prevent teachers from bullying teachers,” USATODAY reports. This makes huge sense because actions do speak louder than words, and policies against student bullying lose credibility when students see adults disregarding the very policies they’re supposed to enforce. I just hope this trend includes policies against teachers bullying students too! “Nationwide, 41 states have anti-bullying laws affecting schools,” USATODAY cites Department of Health and Human Services figures as showing. “A few states, such as North Carolina, Florida, and Utah, include school employees with students in their measures.” [See also “Cyberbullying & the darkside of flash mobs.”]