Idaho’s Anti-Bullying Measure Dies in House Ed Committee
March 29, 2012 2 Comments
A bill that would have strengthened Idaho’s anti-bullying law appears to be dead after being held hostage by the House Education Committee.
According to the Coeur d’Alene Press, Republican Rep. Bob Nonini, the chairman of the education committee, refused to give the bill a hearing because he didn’t feel it was necessary.
“There is no need for lawmakers to impose additional anti-bullying policies on schools,” Nonini tells the newspaper.
Rep. Brian Cronin of Boise, a co-sponsor of the bill, tried unsuccessfully to use a parliamentary procedure in order to pull the bill out of committee for consideration by the full House.
“I am dismayed that my Republican colleagues refuse to even let the bill be heard and debated. Today’s action sends the unfortunate message to victims of bullies that they are on their own,” Cronin said in a press release on Tuesday.
According to the release, “the anti-bullying bill, which passed the Senate 25 to 8, would direct Idaho’s 115 school districts to develop clear anti-bullying policies and procedures.”
Idaho State Senator Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, was a sponsor and strong advocate of the legislation. As we reported earlier today, Nonini told The Idaho Statesman on Wednesday morning that he was offended by a dvd copy of the film,”Brokeback Mountain,” mailed to him by LeFavour at Christmas.
Currently, Idaho has the fourth highest suicide rate in the nation. Studies have shown that those who have been bullied and or harassed at school can be affected by the actions well into their adult years.
Among other things, the bill would have clarified, “the definition of bullying in Idaho schools, an infraction; required school districts to have policies and to train staff on the issue, and to report and address cases of bullying.”