A new idea designed to help South Carolina students report bullying is now in the works, WSPA reported December 18.
HB4413 is the brainchild of S.C. Representative Chip Limehouse (R-Charleston County), and if passed, will mandate each school district in South Carolina to develop an anonymous website where students can report harassment, intimidation or the bullying of a student at their school.
Known as The Report-A-Bully in School Website Act, the new law will hold school districts accountable on a monthly basis. Each district will be required to report monthly on the nature of each case reported and what, if anything was done about it.
The Department of Education will be required to develop guidelines related to bullying and to provide that information received isn't subject to the Freedom of Information Act. This is a delicate issue, as it's important to protect the privacy of a minor, but at the same time those who cause trouble at school need to be identified.
A law was passed by the South Carolina General Assembly and signed by the governor in June, 2006. According to The Bully Police.org, bullying is defined as
*Harassment or intimidation or violent behavior that disrupts a students ability to learn. It can be electronic, written,verbal, physical or sexual
*Placing a student under physical or emotional fear that they or their personal property will be harmed.
*Insulting or demeaning a student or group of students and causing a major disruption during the school day.
HB4413 is currently in recess, but will go before the legislature in January 2014. If passed, each South Carolina school district will have until September 2014 to create their website.
How do you feel about such a law being passed? Do you think it will point out the true bullies in each community, or will it become a means for one student to get another in trouble by giving false information to get another student in trouble?
Another concern that comes to mind in this era of computer hacking and stolen data, will those who turn in school bullies be protected?
Your comments are welcome.