Bullying is an epidemic among our youth, and Nebraska is no exception.
That’s why we support Senator Al Davis in fighting back – with Nebraska bill LB 572.
The goal is to “task the state school security director with recommending a curriculum to assist school districts in preventing and responding to cyberbullying and digital citizenship issues.”
According to a March 11 report from KOLN-TV?, Jolene Palmer, State School Security Director, supports the initiative. If the bill will make schools and kids safer, it’s a great thing, Palmer said.
LB 572 is not the state’s sole legislation designed to tackle the issue of bullying. At the current time, NE law requires that every school district maintain a bullying policy. LB 572 is designed to strengthen those policies, and require the school’s involvement in bullying that takes place online, off of school grounds.
Zachary Baehr, Media Relations Coordinator at Lincoln Public School District (LPS), says that keeping students safe is the district’s number one priority.
“We always appreciate new insight on handling these issues,” said Baehr, “but there is no direct impact on [LPS] schools.”
In the past year, since the attack of LPS student Frida Aguilera de la Torre, local news has been rife with reports of student-on-student bullying in Lincoln, both on- and off-school grounds. Along with the all-too-commonplace reports of bullying assaults, LPS has had to apologize for their past attempt at anti-bullying education.
The LPS website summarizes the district’s current policy: “inappropriate behaviors, including but not limited to bullying, intimidation and harassment, must be avoided by students and all staff.”
Avoidance isn’t enough. The effects of bullying can last long after scars heal. The psychological effects can carry into adulthood. Those who are bullied can develop social anxiety or even PTSD, as our client Jared Williamson did after being attacked on his way home from school.
There is no excuse for the damage being done to these children. There is no excuse for failing to do all we can to protect our children.
NE LB 572 brings hope that our schools will abandon any leniency in enforcing policies like LPS’s; hope that our students will be protected both at school and online. We urge you to support Sen. Al Davis and the children of Nebraska.