Grant program could help school districts set up effective programs
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Colorado House of Representatives today passed a bill that creates an anti-bullying grant program and requires school districts to adopted comprehensive, evidence-based anti-bullying policies.
HB-1254 passed on a -18 bipartisan vote and will now move to the Senate. The goal of the measure is to reduce the frequency of bullying in public schools. Some school districts have effective programs in place. The statewide measure should help those districts that are lagging behind.
HB-1254 seeks to reduce the frequency of bullying in public schools. If passed, the bill will clearly define bullying, create a grant program to which schools can apply in order to fund bullying prevention programs, and require each school district to adopt a comprehensive, evidence-based anti-bullying policy.
“We applaud the decision by the House to move this important bill forward. All students deserve to go to school free from fear, isolation, and harassment. It’s our job as adults to ensure every student is protected and safe in our schools,” said Brad Clark, Executive Director of One Colorado, a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to securing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Coloradans.
“Over the past decade, Colorado has made earnest attempts to ensure that students are protected in schools, but sadly, bullying and harassment continues — and not just on the playground or in classrooms but on mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices.
“This bill sends a clear message that bullying is no longer an adolescent rite of passage but a serious problem that will not be tolerated in our schools,” Clark said.
In fall of 2010, One Colorado, the Colorado Association of School Boards, the Colorado Association of School Executives, the Colorado Education Association, and the American Federation of Teachers—Colorado called on the state legislature to take immediate action to stop bullying and harassment in Colorado schools.
The coalition advocating for HB-1254 represents nearly 30 organizations — women’s rights organizations, LGBT groups, and health associations — who are united in their commitment to creating safe school environments for all students.
Filed under: Colorado Tagged: | American Federation of Teachers, bullying, Colorado, Colorado Education Association, Colorado HB 11-1254, Colorado House of Representatives, colorado Legislature, education, schools, Summit County News