Archive for Sunday, April 29, 2007

Anti-bullying bill awaits governor’s signature

April 29, 2007


— A bill requiring that schools institute anti-bullying programs has been finalized by the Legislature and awaits Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' signature before it can take effect.

"This will create a better atmosphere," state Rep. Pat Colloton, R-Leawood, a sponsor of the legislation, said Saturday.

During the legislative session, students urged passage of the measure, saying youngsters today are confronted with much worse bullying practices than in the past, including cyber-bullying over the Internet.

Experts on the effects of bullying also said bullying sometimes leads the victim to lash out violently. They said school shootings are often the result of a student reacting to being bullied.

Colloton said anti-bullying programs that involve students makes them more sensitive to the feelings of others and gives bullying victims "resiliency skills."

A gay rights group praised the bill.

"This is a good first step toward ending the harassment faced today by far too many kids - both straight and gay," said Thomas Witt, chairman of the Kansas Equality Coalition.

Witt said a national survey in 2005 by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network found that three-fourths of students had heard derogatory remarks about sexual orientation.

In addition, the study found nearly two-thirds of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and 17.6 percent had been physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation.

The survey also found that a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that addressed sexual orientation was related to lower rates of harassment, he said.

Officials in Lawrence have said a bullying prevention program at Langston Hughes and Prairie Park schools has resulted in a 50 percent reduction in bullying.


Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 11 years ago

More creeping fascism in the form of protecting the homosexual community. The real problem with the homosexual agenda is the authoritarian nature of the legislation they demand to make us more "progressive".

DaREEKKU 11 years ago


The same type of justification was used to deny people of different races/religions rights. The only goal of the so called "homosexual agenda" is to obtain equal rights. Not only is your logic flawed, but you display a lack of understanding of the root issues to a disturbing degree. Grow up.

number3of5 11 years ago

Marion, while I agree with some of your words, the way you approach this issue could use a bit more tact. I do not think we are raising a society of "wimps". We are however raising a generation of children who feel they are entitled to do as they please. If bullying a smaller child, a less fortunate child, or a child with a different religion, sexual orientation, or skin color is what they feel they want to do at that time, then they will. The government need to allow parents, teachers, and child care givers the right to spank a child who misbehaves. When I say spank, I mean just that, not a "beating" and there is a huge difference in the two.

deec 11 years ago

Sorry but there have always been bullies. Unlike in the past, children who defend themselves are often punished as much, or more than, the bully. Teachers often looked the other way, especially when the parents of the bullies were important town citizens. This bill is an attempt to deal with an old problem.

Confrontation 11 years ago

"How about ecouraging parents to properly raise their little monsters so that they are not little monsters?"

Great point, Marion! Too bad the parents are usually the 'big monsters' who are teaching their kids to be the same. However, I do think that schools should be forced to take strict measures against the little monsters. I also think parents should be forced to pay a fine every time their kids act like idiots.

deec 11 years ago

This is how the homosexual agenda starts gaining a foothold for indoctrinating and recruiting schoolchildren. Soon children will be punished for citing scriptural prohibitions against sodomy." Only if they go to certain religious schools....

prioress 11 years ago

Sometimes, bad teachers bully students as well.

bettie 11 years ago

i was in high school during the columbine tragedy. certain students who wore black, kept to themselves, listened to certain types of music, etc. were put on an "alert list." these students regularly had their bags and lockers searched and were generally under a pretty serious level of scrutiny at all times.

at the same time, i watched teachers look the other while while "normal" kids picked on quiet, shy ones, saying things like, "what's with the quiet kid. i bet he's got a bomb in his bag. hey kid! are you going to blow up our school?" they would say these things every day, even nicknaming one student "columbine," and no one said a word.

it was just so frustrating to see good students who wouldn't hurt a fly having their bags checked every day while no one said a word to the bullies. the fact that the two boys who committed the atrocity in colorado were also on the receiving end of this kind of behavior seemed to go unnoticed.

some teachers obviously need some instruction in identifying bullying behavior and understanding the potential for backlash. true, bullying is an age-old problem, but the consequences of letting it go unchecked are far more dire than in the past.

Candice Chandler 11 years ago

How is it that some of you people actually feel it appropriate to make this a straight/gay issue? What is wrong with you????????????????????

Linda Endicott 11 years ago

Deec, I was in school back in the dinosaur days, and it was the same way back then.

Except then, usually the kids who retalitated were the ONLY ones who got punished. The teacher never seemed to see the bullies who started it. Of course, since they were bullies, and did that kind of thing all the time, they were better at being sneaky. It's hard to be sneaky when you've had enough and you just belt someone.

I think Marion is right to a certain extent. These kids bully because they get away with it. If they had consequences for their behavior, they'd probably decide it wasn't worth it.

Bullying someone constantly, until the other person is sick of it and belts them one is called a natural consequence. Maybe more violence isn't the best answer, and no, we shouldn't condone violence, but sometimes it works.

I had to do it once in school. These older guys, in my brother's class, were picking on me every day. I had the support of the teachers, and these guys got in trouble more than once for harassing me.

But of course, the teacher isn't always around. The worst bullies will find times when there's no one else around, and then go after you. It got to the point where I was sick of it. So I slugged one of them in the gut one day.

He never bothered me again.

imastinker 11 years ago

crazyks -

I had the same issues in school. I got in two fights in 9th grade and the bullying stopped completely. I never should have had to do that though. This was way before columbine as well. Bullying will always be there, and no amount of legislation will change that. Kids have to know that teachers are helping them though. Nobody ever helped me with the bullying I got, except the PE teacher that walked back out of the room when I finally stood up for myself.

This is a step in the right direction, but it's not a fix. Some people are just bullies. That will never change.

Linda Endicott 11 years ago

IMHO, the teachers who need to be dealt with are the one who, when a student comes to them for help with bullying, tells them, "oh, it's not that bad. Get over it. It's just a part of growing up."

I had a few of those teachers, too. I'm sure that if they'd been the target of a bully, they wouldn't have had such a callous attitude towards bullying.

What you really find telling is when some of these same bullies, who make school life miserable for other kids, when they are subject to the same kind of thing, turn into crying blobs of emotion.

Most bullies apparently can dish it out, but they can't take it.

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