The Bullying Preventation Act of 2012, House Bill 1214 authored by Rep. Patricia Smith of Baton Rouge, prohibits any fear inducing, threatening or abusive gesture or written, verbal or physical act in public elementary and secondary schools. This bill affects the livelihood and well-being of students all over the state of Louisiana.
It seems that too often in our culture, bullying is trivialized. Bullying is not “character building.” It is not “toughening” the victims. It is isolating, intimidating, and hurting children, sometimes to the point where the victim of bullying will take his or her own life after enduring verbal taunting and physical abuse day after day.
Our children are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. They often do not ask for help. Many do not believe that there is help. They do not know that life will get better after middle school or high school. We have to help them.
This bill, if it becomes law, serves to fill some major gaps in Louisiana’s current, anemic anti-bullying law. The Bullying Prevention Act also unifies and expands the present law to include six parishes that are currently exempt from following a legislative anti-bullying policy. HB 1214, formally HB 407, had the enumeration stripped in committee, but we encourage you to tell your Representative to support an amendment to reinsert the enumeration back into the bill!
There exist huge variations in the policies and procedures intended to combat bullying among schools and school administrations across Louisiana. The Bullying Prevention Act creates a much-needed minimum standard which can be built upon to address the unique needs of each school and district. We urge all folks around Louisiana to help protect our children by telling their Representatives in Baton Rouge and asking them to support the Bullying Prevention Bill, HB 1214, with the enumerated list intact. Schools should always be a safe place to learn and grow.
Forum For Equality Louisiana believes that the youth of our state are the most important part of our future, and it is essential to support and protect them from the harmful effects of bullying. For the safety and well-being of Louisiana’s youth, we ask you to please support House Bill 1214 by telling your Representative to support the Bullying Prevention Act.
Click the link below to a letter that will be sent to your Representative electronically. We encourage you to expand or edit the text to express why you support the Bullying Prevention Act.