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Tennessee's Bullying Bill

#1 User is offline   Mabel Pines 

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 09:21 PM

Tennessee's legislature is considering a bill that will change the way the government there defines bullying.


Full article

Quote

Present law requires each school district to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying.


This bill clarifies that the policy may not be construed or interpreted to infringe upon the First Amendment rights of students and may not prohibit their expression of religious, philosophical, or political views as long as such expression does not include a threat of physical harm to a student or of damage to a student's property.


Under present law, "harassment, intimidation or bullying" means any act that substantially interferes with a student's educational benefits, opportunities or performance, that takes place on school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided transportation or at any official school bus stop, and that has the effect of:
(1) Physically harming a student or damaging a student's property;
(2) Knowingly placing a student in reasonable fear of physical harm to the student or damage to the student's property; or
(3) Creating a hostile educational environment.


this bill specifies that "creating a hostile educational environment" would not include discomfort and unpleasantness that can accompany the expression of a viewpoint or belief that is unpopular, not shared by other students, or not shared by teachers or school officials.



Full article (opinionated) (I'm not posting a quote from this because it contains a few words that aren't allowed on JN, they aren't very bad but keep in mind that they're there)

The above article basically states that people who like people of their same gender will have even more bullying problems if this bill is passed, because people are against same-gender relationships due to religion.

There's a petition against this here.


I know that people have different opinions about things, but I don't think you should be allowed to make anyone feel uncomfortable at school. It's fine to have different view from people, but harassing them about it is definitely not ok. I guess I understand how they're trying to respect freedom of speech with this, but bullying is very serious and even without threats or violence it can be extremely harming.

#2 User is offline   annukii 

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 09:34 PM

i have no idea how bad bullying is in school in america, i was bullied myself in my first year off what would be junior high really badly and skipped 3/4 of the year before transferring to a private school where i made wonderful friends. i also am not sure if what the media reports on what happens in american schools is accurate or sensationalism.

i support acting against bullying, but its a case of changing the culture of bullying and making it less socially acceptable than it is/expected.

sometimes laws can make it worse.. since they are difficult to repeal and efforts to fix loopholes create more complicated situations.

and bullying is usually more psychological than physical (especially amongst girls), and the psychological damage is the one which stays the longest.

#3 User is offline   Chev 

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 08:00 AM

Although this law is nice in theory, we all know that bullying laws are not enforced. Kids will fight regardless. Also, if the bullies are the sports stars at the school, they're not going to punish them for obvious reasons. Besides, in order to stop a child's behavior, you must go to the source (with bullies, a bad home life). I hate bullying as much as anyone, but there's no way this law is going to work.

#4 User is offline   Ronin Ezekiel 

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:18 AM

Three words: Down with bullying. Plain and simple.

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